Social gatherings and close contact with confirmed cases driving up Niagara's COVID-19 infections

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COVID-19 numbers have crept up this week in Niagara, with 28 cases confirmed this week alone.

Niagara's Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Mustafa Hirji tells CKTB's Tom McConnell it is concerning to see the number of cases on the rise, and he is concerned the trend in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa will happen locally.

He says many of the new cases reported recently are close contacts of previous cases, and quite a few attended large gatherings.

Premier Doug Ford announced new restrictions on social gatherings in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa this afternoon.

Due to an increase in cases in the areas, Ford says indoor gathering limits will now be 10, and outdoor limits will be set at 25 people.

The rules come into effect tomorrow.

The change will only affect Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa, and will not apply to businesses like restaurants, movie theatres, or banquet halls.

"We will throw the book at you if you break the rules," Ford said. "They must be a few fries short of a happy meal, these people."

Ontario reported 293 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths related to the virus this morning.

Niagara had 12 new cases reported.