TORONTO -- Ontario health officials have confirmed 260 more cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 1,966.

The new patients were announced on Tuesday, as the province stated that 4,280 people are currently under investigation for the novel coronavirus.

There are 33 deaths linked to COVID-19 in the province and 10.9 per cent of all patients have been hospitalized at one point.

Speaking at a news conference held at Queen’s Park on Tuesday afternoon, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said that 11 of the 33 deceased patients were from seniors' residences.

Yaffe added that there are currently 10 long-term care homes in Ontario with active outbreaks of COVID-19.

“The numbers are fluid – it’s a fluid situation,” Yaffe said.

“We know that our local health units are continuing to work on new confirmed cases, as well as deaths, that have not yet been reflected in the numbers that I have just provided.”

Yaffe went on to state that currently 291 patients infected with the virus in the province remain in hospital. Of those 291 patients, 125 of them are in an intensive care unit (ICU) and of those 125, 82 of them are on ventilators to assist with breathing. According to Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, the province has the capacity to care for up to 3,000 ICU patients at any given time.

The number of resolved cases in Ontario sits at 534.

To date, more than 50,000 people have been tested for the virus in the province. In recent days, Ontario has added more testing capacity and has been able to clear a backlog that was once nearly 11,000 cases.

Ontario patients’ demographics

On Tuesday, health officials updated statistics on the government’s website regarding the demographics of those infected in the province.

According to the website, 49.8 per cent of all patients in Ontario are male and 49.5 per cent are female.

Twelve cases did not specify male or female gender, health officials stated.

Additionally, 2.3 per cent of patients are 19 years of age or younger and 76.1 per cent of patients are between the ages of 20 and 64.

Patients who are 65 years of age or older make up 21.4 per cent of all patients infected with the virus in Ontario.

The median age is 50 and the ages of three cases are unknown, health officials added.

Regarding means of transmission, health officials said 25.7 per cent of patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill, 10.2 per cent of patients had close contact with a previously confirmed case, 16.8 per cent had neither of those two means and 47.3 per cent “have exposure information pending.”

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.