'It shocked me': Ontario dips below 400 new cases of COVID-19 but fails to hit testing target
TORONTO -- The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario reported in a single day has dropped back below 400.
On Wednesday, provincial health officials confirmed 390 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients in Ontario to 23,774, including 1,962 deaths and 18,190 recoveries.
Health officials also confirmed 43 more COVID-19 deaths in Ontario on Wednesday, which is nearly three times higher than Tuesday when 15 fatalities were reported.
Meanwhile, the number of recovered patients in Ontario accounts for 76.5 per cent of all cases.
The number of new patients reported on Wednesday comes after a slight spike on Tuesday when 427 cases were added. It was the first time in 10 days when the daily case count climbed above 400.
The single-day record for new cases was reported on April 25 when 640 patients were confirmed.
On Wednesday, health officials also reported four new outbreaks in the province’s long-term care homes, bringing the total to 284.
According to Wednesday's epidemiologic summary, eight of Ontario’s deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger. Eighty of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 504 people were between the ages of 60 and 79. People 80 years of age or older continue to be the hardest-hit age group with 1,370 deaths.
There are currently 991 people being treated in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19, including 160 who are being treated in the intensive care unit. Of those, 120 are using a ventilator to assist with breathing.
Ford 'shocked' by number of COVID-19 tests
Across the province, thus far, 567,176 novel coronavirus tests have been conducted.
Ontario conducted 7,382 tests in the last-recorded 24-hour period, the lowest number of daily tests performed by the province in weeks.
"I recognize that the numbers weren't there – it shocked me too – but in saying that, we have a strong plan, a strong plan to ramp up testing," Premier Doug Ford said at Queen's Park on Wednesday.
"We are going to ramp up the testing."
Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliot reminded Ontarians that anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can now be tested.
"If people have symptoms, they want to be tested, they will be tested," Elliot said. "That is really important from a community perspective, as we are reopening the economy, so we can see what the effect is on the public health system and the health of people in different communities."
Currently, 4,444 test samples remain under investigation in Ontario.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, said Wednesday that he wants to see an increase in testing in the province to further understand how COVID-19 is transmitting within the community.
He said testing will allow the province to move to future levels of the recovery phase with confidence.
Quick facts on all Ontario COVID-19 patients:
- 42.5 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 56.8 per cent are female.
- 2.9 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger.
- 24.6 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39.
- 30.5 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59.
- 21.0 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79.
- 21.0 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older.
- Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 63.4 per cent of all cases.
- 6.5 per cent of all patients had travelled history prior to becoming ill.
- 25 per cent of all patients had contact with a previously confirmed case.
- 34.9 per cent of all patients had community exposure.