Ontario COVID-19 deaths soar to single-day record as province confirms 494 new cases
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials say 51 more people have died as a result of COVID-19, another single-day high in the province, while confirming 494 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.
The new patient count is the second highest number in a single-day, behind the record 550 cases reported on April 8.
There are currently 8,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, including 385 deaths. Meanwhile, 3,902 people have recovered from the virus, including 334 recoveries in the last 24 hours.
There are currently 795 people with COVID-19 being treated in Ontario hospitals. More than 254 of those people are being treated in intensive care, with 188 using a ventilator to assist with breathing.
Ramping up testing in Ontario
The province completed 6,010 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday. More than 119,000 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Ontario to date. The province's target on Wednesday is to complete 8,000 tests.
"I do want to see as many people tested (as possible)," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Wednesday.
"I want to see not only the 8,000 but who are the 8,000 that are tested. And as we move forward, we have the 14,000 target by April 30. I just want to see us continuously test."
"We are increasing the testing right across the board and really focusing on the hot spot of long-term care. Roughly 18 per cent of all homes are infected right now so that is the area we are going to target."
Meanwhile, the number of tests under investigation also doubled in the past day -- to 4,429 -- which the Ministry of Health attributes to expanded testing criteria increasing the number of tests being submitted.
Of the COVID-19 deaths in Ontario, 247 people were over the age of 80, while 115 were between the ages of 60 and 79. Twenty-two people between the ages of 40 and 59 have died, while one person under 39 has died.
The province also confirmed 98 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes in Ontario. There are 834 cases of the virus among residents at the homes and 453 cases among staff members.
The new cases come as the Ontario government unveiled an enhanced plan to fight COVID-19 in the province's long-term care homes today.
Ford says the front lines of the battle against the virus have shifted to seniors homes. He says the plan will include more testing for residents and staff and increased infection control.
The province will also stop people from working in more than one of the homes at a time to limit the virus's spread.
With files from The Canadian Press.