Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he will announce new restrictions for COVID-19 hot spots on Friday.

Ford says the case counts in Toronto, Peel Region, and York Region are very concerning and he will take “targeted” action.

The premier says he has asked Ontario's chief medical officer of health to recommend a plan to his cabinet for consideration.

Ford did not provide further details but said the province is looking at lock downs if case rates continue to grow.

He says the new measures must be implemented because hospitals in those regions are reaching capacity.

Meanwhile, the government announced earlier today that it would not be extending winter break for schools because its current COVID-19 protocols were enough to keep students safe.

The education minister had said a day earlier that the government was considering a prolonged break or starting the new year with a stretch of online learning.

Ontario reported 1,417 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and 32 new deaths due to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said 463 new cases are in Peel Region, 410 cases are in Toronto, and 178 are in York Region.

The province said 26 of the new deaths reported Wednesday are in long-term care homes.

It also said 678 nursing home residents currently have COVID-19, and 100 of the province's 626 long-term care homes are experiencing an outbreak.