Ontario logs more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, 25 deaths
TORONTO -- Ontario has recorded more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, as well as 25 more deaths.
On Sunday, provincial health officials logged 2,316 new infections of the novel coronavirus, which is a slight decrease from the 2,357 cases logged on Saturday.
Before that, 2,290 new infections were recorded on Friday, 2,432 on Thursday and 2,139 on Wednesday.
The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,249, up from 1,839 one week ago.
Of the new cases logged on Sunday, 486 are in Toronto, 468 are in Peel Region, 326 are in York Region, 151 are in Windsor-Essex County, and 128 are in Niagara Region.
Other areas that recorded more than 50 cases of the disease on Sunday include Durham Region (82), Simcoe Muskoka (62), Middlesex-London (80), Hamilton (88), Halton Region (97), and Waterloo Region (91).
Sunday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 155,930, including deaths and recoveries.
With the 25 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Sunday, the province’s death toll is now 4,150. Of the deaths confirmed on Sunday, 18 were residents of long-term care homes.
Health officials deemed 1,931 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Sunday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 133,213.
There are currently 18,567 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.
According to the province, there are at least 875 patients infected with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 261 are in the intensive care unit and 156 of those 261 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
COVID-19 testing and lockdowns in Ontario
Since the pandemic began in Ontario, more than 7.3 million tests for the disease have been conducted.
There were a record number of COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario in the last-recorded 24-hour period (69,412). The previous record was set in the province on Friday when 68,246 tests were completed.
The province’s positive rate now stands at 3.6 per cent, down from 4.2 per cent on Friday, according to the Ministry of Health.
There are currently 54,546 tests under investigation in the province.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford announced that lockdown orders in Toronto and Peel Region that were set to expire next week will be extended until at least Jan. 4.
Hamilton is also entering the lockdown zone of the province’s tiered COVID-19 framework on Monday.
York Region and Windsor-Essex have been under lockdown since Dec. 14.
Ford has indicated that an announcement regarding additional measures being taken to help curb the spread of COVID-19 will be made on Monday.
Speaking on Sunday morning, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the premier has had to make “very difficult” and complicated decisions throughout the pandemic.
“There are mayors, people in the region, who don’t agree that further shutdown is required. I happen to think there is such movement back and forth… that you have to do something region-wide,” Tory said.
“I’m one who believes that the big box stores, if they remain open, should only go to curbside pickup and that’s just so that you discourage people from going there and that you also create a degree of fairness with the other businesses.”
Tory also said he believes the province needs to offer further guidance about what schools should do following the holidays.
“How you handle the schools is a complex and difficult issue. I believe that we should have some kind of break in January where kids might learn virtually for a while,” he said.
The mayor said further restrictions are needed to protect the health-care system, which is in a “perilous” situation.
“We’ve never wanted to get to the point where we couldn’t care for those who are sick plus those of course who have a heart attack or stroke or some other need for hospitalization,” Tory said. “These numbers are a source of very serious concern.”