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Loosened capacity limits at some Ontario venues take effect today

Ontario reported 640 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and a total of 10 new deaths linked to the virus.
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Ontario reported 640 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday and a total of 10 new deaths linked to the virus.

The province said six of the deaths occurred in the past 24 hours, while four took place more than a month ago and are being added to the overall tally after a data cleanup.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 485 of the most recent infections are among those who are either not fully vaccinated or whose immunization status is unknown.

There are currently 323 patients in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, with 178 in intensive care and 153 on a ventilator.

The latest numbers come as loosened capacity limits take effect at certain venues where proof of vaccination is required, including arenas, stadiums, concert halls and theatres.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said the change is due to key public health measures stabilizing in recent days.

Capacity limits at outdoor events where people stand are now up to 75 per cent or 15,000 people, whichever is lower.

For outdoor events where people are seated, limits now stand at up to 75 per cent capacity or 30,000 people.

That means the Blue Jays are able to increase capacity at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to 30,000 – up from 15,000 spectators – for their push to make the playoffs.

Proof of vaccination will now be required in outdoor settings where the normal capacity is 20,000 people or more.

Indoor settings like cinemas, concert venues, sporting events, banquet halls, convention centres, racing venues, and commercial film and TV productions with studio audiences now have capacity limits of up to 50 per cent or 10,000 people, whichever is less. That's up from a previous cap of 1,000.

The changes do not apply to restaurants, which had to start asking for patrons' proof of immunization for indoor dining on Wednesday when the provincial vaccine certificate system took effect.

Restaurants do not currently have capacity limits, as such, but must allow for distancing of two metres between tables.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press