TORONTO -- Health officials reported another dip in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario on Sunday morning with 294 new confirmed cases.

This marks the lowest number of new cases reported by the province since March 31.

New case numbers in Ontario have been generally trending downwards in recent days, with less than 400 cases reported daily in the last week. The only exception was the 477 new cases reported on Friday.

The number of reported deaths as a result of the novel coronavirus also appears to be on the decline. The province recorded 35 deaths Sunday morning, the lowest since April 26.

Right now, there are 20,238 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, including 14,772 recoveries.

The number of people who have died from COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January sits at 1,634, most of which are 60 years of age or older.

According to Sunday’s epidemiologic summary, there have been 1,146 deaths in people over the age of 80 and 411 deaths in people between the ages of 60 and 79.

Of all the deaths recorded in the province, at least 1,235 of the deceased were residents at a long-term care facility.

The ministry of long-term care says that there are 239 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at those facilities. As a result, 2,885 residents and 1,521 staff members have tested positive for the virus. 

The province also recorded two new deaths in people between the ages of 40 and 59, bringing the death toll for that age group to 70.

The number of deaths in people ages 20 to 39 remains unchanged at seven, representing the youngest Ontario residents to die of the virus.

There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger, though there are 524 confirmed cases in that age group.

As well, hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Ontario continue to fall.

As of Sunday morning, there are 961 patients in hospital being treated for the virus, down 55 patients since Saturday’s report.

Of those 961 patients, 195 are being treated in an intensive care unit, 140 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. 

Sunday’s update comes as retail stores with a street entrance prepare to reopen their doors tomorrow for curbside pickup and delivery. 

On Saturday, Hardware stores reopened after weeks of closure. A day earlier, garden centres and nurseries were given the green light to open for business as well.

Additionally, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced yesterday that provincial parks and conservation areas will also reopen this week but campgrounds and beaches will continue to be off-limits for now.

Update on COVID-19 testing in Ontario

The decrease in COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday comes as the province continues to ramp up its testing for the virus.

17,618 tests were completed Saturday, down from the more than 19,000 tests performed on Friday.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist with the University Health Network, said that the increase in testing is "fantastic."

“Certainly with the growing number of tests we are seeing, this is a much better description of what we are actually seeing in Ontario so it is much better," Bogoch said speaking to CP24 on Sunday morning.

“We see that the per cent of positive tests is dropping significantly, and of course, the number of new cases per day is dropping significantly. So these are all positive trends over time. If we see them continued over time, we are certainly headed in the right direction.” 

Ontario has conducted 433,994 tests overall with 14,816 tests currently under investigation.

It’s worth noting that the number of tests completed by the province is not representative of the total number of people tested, meaning one person may have been tested more than once.

Quick facts on COVID-19 in Ontaro

  • 57.2 per cent of all patients in the province are female and 42 per cent are male.
  • 2.6 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger.
  • 23.5 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39.
  • 30.6 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59.
  • 21.6 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79.
  • 21.7 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older.
  • Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 61.7 per cent of all cases.
  • 7.1 per cent of all patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill.
  • 22.2 per cent of all patients had contact with a confirmed case.
  • 36.3 per cent of all patients had community exposure.
  • The exposure information for 34.2 per cent of all patients is listed as pending.