Ontario stores to reopen for curbside pickup, delivery today

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TORONTO — Stores in Ontario are allowed to reopen today for curbside pickup after a weekend that saw the spread of COVID-19 slow to a pace not seen since March.

The measure announced last week is meant to help ramp the economy back up after the pandemic caused unprecedented job losses in March and April.

All retail stores with a street entrance will be allowed to open today to provide both curbside pickup and delivery — a move Premier Doug Ford has said will allow thousands of people to return to work.

On Friday, the government allowed garden centres and nurseries to fully reopen, and hardware stores could do the same on Saturday.

According to data released Friday by Statistics Canada, 689,200 Ontarians lost their jobs in April, in addition to the 403,000 the agency says were lost in March.

On Sunday, the province reported 294 new cases of COVID-19 — a jump of just 1.5 per cent over the previous day.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 now sits at 20,238, with a death toll of 1,634.

Ford also announced over the weekend that provincial parks will reopen today, though beaches, camping areas and playgrounds will remain closed and physical distancing must be maintained.