TORONTO -- The number of new cases of COVID-19 recorded in Ontario continues to remain below the 200 mark for the sixth day in a row.

Health officials added 178 new lab-confirmed cases Friday morning, which represents a daily growth rate of 0.5 per cent.

The province is also reporting 246 more resolved cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hour period. The number of resolved cases continues to be higher than the number of new infections each day. Christine Elliott, Ontario's minister of health, described the recent downward trend in active cases as a "persistent decline."

Friday's report brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario to 33,095, including 28,250 resolved cases (85.4 per cent).

Meanwhile, Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll sits at 2,564, with 11 deaths reported since Thursday.

Where are the new cases?

The news comes as more regions across Ontario move into the next stage of the province’s reopening plan. Three regions, Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex, have all been held back from entering Stage 2 due to the relatively high number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily in those areas.

On Friday, Toronto reported 56 new cases, Peel Region reported 33 new cases and Windsor-Essex reported 17 new cases.

York Region reported 13 new cases and moves into Stage 2 as of today. Simcoe Muskoka District Health added 15 new cases and moved to Stage 2 last Friday.

Almost half of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported zero new cases.

Update on COVID-19 testing in Ontario

Testing for COVID-19 remains high with 27,225 tests performed over the day prior. 

"Having processed over 27,000 tests yesterday, Ontario continues to lead the country in daily #COVID19 testing," Elliott said in a tweet published Friday. 

The number of daily tests completed for COVID-19 in Ontario has been climbing in recent weeks, following a slow start at the beginning of the pandemic. 

On Thursday, the provincial government announced the launch of a new contact tracing strategy and notification system they say will help prepare the province for “a potential second wave” of COVID-19 in the fall

The province has completed more than one million tests so far. There are 21,479 tests currently under investigation.

As of Friday, there are 331 people in hospital with the virus, a number that continues to decrease. Of those 331 patients, 82 are being treated in an intensive care unit, 65 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator

Quick facts on all COVID-19 patients in Ontario:

  •  To date, 17,838 patients in the province are female and 14,984 are male
  •  1,475 patients are 19 years of age or younger
  •  9,335 patients are between the ages of 20 and 39
  •  10,126 patients are between the ages of 40 and 59
  •  6,400 patients are between the ages of 60 and 79
  •  5,747 patients are 80 years of age or older