TORONTO -- The total number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario has risen to 688, as health officials confirmed 100 more cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, including five more deaths in the province.

The first of the five deaths announced Wednesday was an individual in their 80s who was a resident at Ina Grafton Gage Village, a retirement home in St. Catharines.

The individual was receiving care at a hospital in Niagara.

“On behalf of the hospital, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the patient’s family and loved ones at this extremely sad time,” a spokesperson for Niagara Health said in a news release issued on Wednesday.

“We all mourn this loss as a community.”

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health said the patient died 11 days after he was confirmed to have the virus.

"This person had close contact with a family member who recently travelled to Europe," Dr. Barbara Yaffe said.

No information has been released by provincial health officials about the four other deceased patients.

On Wednesday afternoon, Toronto public health officials confirmed three new COVID-19-related deaths in the city, but it is unclear if those numbers are included in the provincial total.

As the 100 new patients were confirmed, officials stated that more than 10,000 people are currently under investigation for the virus and more than 24,000 people in the province have tested negative thus far.

The new cases include 21 people in Toronto, 13 in Peel Region, five in York Region, four in Halton Region, four in Hamilton, two in Peterborough, and one in Durham Region.

As well, five new cases have been confirmed in the Kingston area, another three have been confirmed in the Porcupine District, two have been confirmed in Windsor Essex, Middlesex London and Hastings Prince Edward, and one has been confirmed in Wellington Dufferin Guelph, Simcoe Muskoka, Haliburton Kawartha Pineridge, and Timiskaming.

The location of all additional cases is listed as “pending.”

Thirty of the 100 cases are linked to recent travel outside of Canada, while 22 are linked to a close contact of a previously confirmed case of the virus and the rest all have their means of transmission listed as “pending.”


Five of the new patients remain in hospital receiving medical care – they include a man and a woman in their 50s in the Porcupine District, a woman in her 80s in Middlesex London, a woman in her 70s in Halton Region and a woman in her 20s in Peel Region.

The province's eight other COVID-19-related deaths include a woman in her 90s in Durham Region, an 80-year-old Hamilton, Ont. woman, a man in his 80s in Lindsay, Ont., a man in his 70s in Barrie, Ont., a woman in her 70s in York Region, a 77-year-old Toronto man, a 51-year-old Milton, Ont. man, and a 77-year-old Barrie, Ont. man.

In the province, eight people previously infected with the virus have since recovered.

Symptoms of the virus, which can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, are similar to other respiratory infections.

There are no specific treatments for the virus and there is no vaccine that protects against it.

The Ontario government’s website advises those experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus to contact their primary health care provider or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.