TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford is extending the province’s emergency orders until April 23, as health officials reported another 31 deaths from COVID-19 on Saturday.

The province added new measures to help stop the spread of the virus, including easing restrictions on repurposing buildings and erecting tents for homeless shelters and health-care facilities.

The government is also allowing hospitals to increase their capacity by using beds and services of retirement homes without certain labour restrictions.

Health officials reported 411 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 6,648 confirmed cases on Saturday.

The province says 253 deaths are related to the coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health says over 2,858 of the cases have been marked as resolved, which is 43 per cent of the total number of cases.

The backlog of tests awaiting confirmation remained steady at just over 1,500 Saturday.

Just over 96,000 people have been tested for the coronavirus in Ontario so far.

Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that the province plans to double the number of daily tests to 8,000 by mid-April.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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