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Ontario confirms 14 more COVID-19 deaths; number of cases in province surpasses 3,000
TORONTO -- The number of patients infected with COVID-19 across Ontario has surpassed 3,000, as provincial health officials confirmed 462 more cases, including 14 more deaths.
There are now 3,255 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the province, Ontario health officials said on Friday.
The new patients were announced as the province stated that an additional 1,245 people are currently under investigation for the virus.
According to Ontario health officials, there have been 57 deaths linked to the virus recorded in their database as of 4 p.m. on Thursday.
There have been 462 patients in Ontario that have had to be hospitalized – that number is up by 57 patients from data recorded on Thursday.
In recent days, this number has been nearly half the amount of deceased patients being reported by all of Ontario’s 34 public health units combined.
Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe has previously attributed this discrepancy to information not being accurately implemented by local public health units into their database.
On Thursday, Yaffe acknowledged that the province’s tally is an “underrepresentation.”
“We do continue to work very hard to ensure that our systems are as up-to-date as possible so that we can provide as current information as possible,” she said.
On Friday, while presenting a model that forecasts that between 3,000 and 15,000 people in the province will die from COVID-19 with the health measures already in place, the president and CEO of Public Health Ontario Dr. Peter Donnelly said he understand this difference in numbers can be unsatisfying.
“It must be frustrating when the death count does not quite tally, but it is important that you understand that the correct way to track this over time is through the integrated Public Health System (iPHIS),” he said during a news conference held at Queen’s Park.
“There will just be a little lag as hard-pressed public health units insert the necessary details.”
The Ontario government announced Friday that it is now allowing all of the province’s local public health units to recruit volunteers to help it conduct contact tracing investigations and patient follow-ups during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These health units have been strained over the past few weeks trying to conduct detailed investigations into each confirmed case of the novel coronavirus and the other people they came into contact with during the time they were likely infectious.
More than 400 patients have been hospitalized in Ontario
Of the 462 patients that have had to be hospitalized in Ontario, 194 of them received treatment in an intensive care unit and of those 194 patients, 140 of them had to be placed on ventilators to assist with breathing.
Quick facts regarding all COVID-19 patients from Ontario health officials
- 11.7 per cent of all patients have been hospitalized at one point
- 32 outbreaks have been reported in long-term care homes in the province
- 48.5 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 50.9 per cent are female – 19 cases did not specify male or female gender
- 2.5 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger
- 29 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39
- 36.2 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59
- 25.2 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79
- 6.9 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older
- Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 53 per cent of all cases in the province
- 21.7 per cent of all patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill
- 11.7 per cent of all patients had contact with a previously confirmed case
- 16.8 per cent of all patients did not report travel or close contact as a means of transmission
- 49.7 per cent of all patients had exposure information listed as pending
What to do if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19
The number of resolved cases in the province currently sits at 1,023.
To date, more than 66,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 across the province.
There are no specific treatments for the virus and there is no vaccine that protects against it.
Symptoms of the virus, which can include fever, cough and shortness of breath, are similar to other respiratory infections.
The Ontario government’s website advises those experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus to contact their primary health care provider or Telehealth Ontario.