Ontario breaks another COVID-19 record with more than 1,400 new cases
TORONTO -- Ontario is seeing another record-breaking day with more than 1,400 new COVID-19 cases.
Provincial health officials logged 1,426 new infections of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, marking the sixth straight day of case counts reaching the quadruple digits.
Ontario set a new single-day record when 1,388 cases were confirmed on Tuesday. Before that, the province saw 1,242 cases logged on Monday, 1,328 on Sunday, 1,132 on Saturday, 1,003 on Friday and 998 on Thursday.
Ontario’s seven-day average for number of cases reported continues to climb and is now 1,216, up from 971 at this point last week.
Fifteen new deaths linked to the disease were logged by provincial health officials on Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s death toll to 3,275. Seven of the deaths confirmed on Wednesday were residents of long-term care homes in the province.
Officials deemed 886 more cases to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing the number of recovered patients in the province to 74,303.
There are currently 10,631 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.
At the end of October, the Ontario government’s official modelling table released new projections for the spread of the disease, providing three different scenarios for what would happen over the next month.
In the most pessimistic scenarios, the province was projected to see its daily case counts rise to 1,000 or 1,200 per day. The modelling also suggested that the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units would only cross the 150-patient threshold in the “worst-case scenario” of average daily case growth hitting 1,200 per day.
According to the province’s data released on Wednesday, at least 424 COVID-19 patients are being treated in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 88 are in intensive care and 57 of those 88 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the new infections logged on Wednesday are in people between the ages of 20 and 39, with 536 cases recorded in that age category. There were also 408 new infections found in people between the ages of 40 and 59, and 173 new infections in people between the ages of 60 and 79. People 19 years of age and younger account for 223 of the new infections and 81 new infections were found in people 80 years of age of older.
Of the new cases logged on Wednesday, 468 are in Peel Region, 384 are in Toronto, 180 are in York Region, 63 are in Durham Region, and 62 are in Hamilton.
The number logged in Peel Region on Wednesday is a record-high for the city.
Speaking on Wednesday morning, infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said hospitals in Peel Region are beginning to see the negative impacts of surging case counts.
“Peel is in trouble,” he said. “We’ve seen from some hospitals in Peel that they are at capacity and exceeding capacity.”
New restrictions, on top of those previously implemented by the province, were introduced in Peel Region over the weekend by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh.
Some of the stricter measures include the closure of meeting and event spaces, including banquet halls. As well, only those from the same household are allowed to sit together at restaurants and bars and pre-registration at gyms and fitness centres is required. Residents of the region have also been told not to visit other homes or allow visitors of other households into their home.
On Tuesday, City of Toronto officials also announced new COVID-19 measures, including banning indoor dining and fitness classes for another 28 days.
Toronto and Peel are the only two areas to sit in the province’s “red zone” in the new colour-coded reopening framework. The “red zone” is one step away from a full lockdown.
Speaking on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford said that the rise in cases keeps him “up at night."
He said he "can't rule out anything" if case counts continue to climb, including a lockdown similar to the one announced in Manitoba on Tuesday. In Manitoba, all non-essential retail stores have been ordered to close as the province deals with a dramatic spike in cases and hospitalizations.
"To answer your question if the numbers get totally out of control I won't hesitate to do what it takes to protect the health and safety of the people," Ford said.
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
Since the start of the pandemic in January, more than 5.4 million tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in Ontario.
In the last-recorded 24-hour period, 36,707 tests were completed. The test positivity rate in Ontario has dipped to 3.9 per cent from a record 5.7 seen a day earlier.
There are 34,460 tests that currently remain under investigation in the province.
The province has yet to meet its testing capacity of 50,000 per day.