TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 21 new COVID-19 cases in schools around the province, including at least five among students.

The new cases — which also include four staff members and 12 people who aren’t identified — bring the total number of schools with a reported case to 51 out of the province’s 4,828.

That number includes one high school in eastern Ontario that’s been ordered to close after three staff members tested positive.

The Renfrew County District School Board posted a notice on social media Wednesday saying the local public health unit had ordered the immediate closure of Fellowes High School in Pembroke, Ont.

The notice says the third case was detected on Wednesday and was linked to two previously announced cases, all among staff members at the school northwest of Ottawa.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford is set to announce today the number of people permitted at social gatherings in three regions of Ontario will be lowered.

A senior government source confirms that indoor gathering limits will drop from the 25 currently allowed to 10, while outdoor gatherings will drop from the 100 currently permitted to 25.

The changes will only affect Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa, which have all seen a spike in virus cases in recent weeks.

The premier said Monday the change was coming, promising “severe” fines for anyone caught breaking the rules.

Ford’s office said Thursday no final decision has been made.

Ontario reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, and three new deaths related to the coronavirus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said Toronto reported 85 new cases, with 63 in Peel Region and 39 in Ottawa.

She said 70 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

The total number of cases in Ontario now stands at 45,676, which includes 2,825 deaths and 40,424 cases classified as resolved.

There were also 179 cases newly marked as resolved over the past 24 hours, and the province said it processed 35,134 tests over the previous day.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 17, 2020.

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