New COVID-19 cases exceed 4,000 in Ontario as capacity limits come into effect

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TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 4,177 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, more than two-thirds of which are in people who are fully vaccinated against the virus.

It's the highest daily tally since April 23, and it comes as the province reintroduces stricter public health measures.

Restaurants, gyms and many other indoor settings now have a 50 per cent capacity limit.

No more than 10 people can attend indoor social gatherings — down from 25 — and there's a maximum of 25 attendees at outdoor social gatherings, down from 100.

Premier Doug Ford announced the new restrictions on Friday, saying the Omicron variant -- now dominant in the province -- is so contagious it threatens to overwhelm the health-care system.

The province's science advisers say two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are only 35 per cent effective against the variant three months after being administered, while a third dose bumps efficacy up to 75 per cent.

In the province, 86.3 per cent of residents aged five and older have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 81.1 per cent have at least two doses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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