Ontario reported 130 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, with 18 public health units recording no new cases at all.

A total of 28 of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting five or fewer cases.

New cases are concentrated in Toronto and the Peel, York, Windsor-Essex, Durham and Ottawa regions, with 42, 26, 12, 12, 11 and 9 respectively.

Saturday’s new COVID-19 figures represent a 0.4 per cent overall increase and bring Ontario’s cumulative total since the outbreak began to 36,594.

Ontario’s health ministry considers 32,422 of those cases — or 88.6 per cent — resolved.

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus increased by 11 and now sits at 128.

Thirty-one people are being treated in intensive care units, while 18 of those are on ventilators, a drop of six since Friday. 

Ontario’s network of about 30 community, commercial and hospital labs processed 29,522 test samples for the novel coronavirus on Friday. An additional 22,083 tests are currently under investigation. 

The province reported another six deaths on Friday, bringing its official death toll to 2,716. But a CBC News count based on data provided by public health units puts the actual toll at 2,752.

The Ministry of Health also reported an eighth death of a health-care worker associated with the long-term care system today. 

Windsor-Essex asks Ottawa to tackle outbreaks in farms 

The latest numbers come as officials in Ontario’s Windsor-Essex region are calling on the provincial or federal government to manage COVID-19 outbreaks in farms.

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said there have been instances where “the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,” and having a lead agency would help prevent that confusion.

Leamington Mayor Hilda MacDonald said there should be incentives for farms to have their workers tested, or fines for those who refuse.

Hundreds of migrant workers have tested positive for the virus, and three have died — two of them in Windsor-Essex and one in Norfolk County.

Annual Pottahawk boat party still going ahead

Meanwhile, Norfolk County officials say they are surprised and disappointed the Pottahawk boat party is going ahead.

The so-called “Pottahawk Pissup” happens every second Sunday in July off Turkey Point in Lake Erie.

The party draws as many as 10,000 people from across Ontario and the U.S.

“I wish it was cancelled this year,” Jim Millson, Norfolk County’s bylaw supervisor and a retired OPP officer., said.

“Not to ruin anyone’s fun, but why take a chance? We’ve seen what happened in the United States.” 

Known locally as the ‘Pottahawk Pissup’, the annual boat party off Turkey Point in Lake Erie has attracted party-goers from both sides of the Canada-U.S. border for 20 years. (CBC)

OPP vessels will be patrolling the water and local bylaw officers will be at piers reminding people to maintain physical distancing. Millson is also asking people not to pass food or drinks between boats.

COVID-19 complicates an event already known for its safety issues. Party-goers have been charged with assault, and those who hitchhike have sometimes ended up stranded, calling out for help in a dark, remote location.

At the province’s daily COVID-19 update on Friday, Premier Doug Ford said he doesn’t think it’s “right” that the party is proceeding as planned.

“I’m just not in favour of this, unless people want to stay on their own boat or pleasure craft,” he said. 

And despite the pressure he has faced, Ford said he’s in no rush to move into Ontario’s Stage 3 of reopening. 

“We’re going to get there,” he said. 

“I am going to make sure we are careful and go by the guidance of our medical health team.” 

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