Ontario premier calls highest jump in COVID-19 cases in two weeks 'concerning'
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford said it is "concerning" that the province has recorded the highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in two weeks, adding that he's "up all night" thinking about the recent upward trend.
On Friday, health officials reported 441 new cases of the disease, bringing the total to 24,628. It is the highest number of new patients since May 8, when 477 new cases were recorded.
Health officials also reported 28 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday. The death toll now stands at 2,021.
"I think of it 24/7," Ford said at Queen's Park on Friday while speaking about the recent uptick in cases. "We're seeing some peaks and valleys but hopefully we're going to see the trend go down."
"I know the last few days it has gone up and it's concerning. These are things you are up all night thinking about."
After 10 days of daily case counts being below 400 in Ontario, health officials confirmed 427 new cases of the disease on Tuesday. The number of new patients logged on Wednesday then dipped down to 390 and rose back above 400 on Thursday.
The single-day record for new cases was reported on April 25 when the number jumped by 640.
Earlier this week, Ford said he "wouldn't hesitate" to roll back recent reopening measures across the province if the numbers continue to climb.
"If we see the numbers start spiking, we will roll things back in a heartbeat," Ford said Wednesday. "The health and wellbeing of people in the province is my number one priority."
The province's associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, also said Friday that the spike in cases is concerning. Yaffe added that health officials will continue to monitor closely for potential hot spots across the province.
Meanwhile, the number of resolved cases in the province also continues to climb. There are now 18,767 patients who have recovered from COVID-19, which accounts for 76.2 per cent of all patients.
According to Friday's epidemiologic summary, eight of Ontario's deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger. Eighty-one of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 519 people were between the ages of 60 and 79. People 80 years of age or older continue to be the hardest hit age group with 1,419 deaths.
There are currently 961 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Ontario, with 153 of those being treated in intensive care. There are 120 people using a ventilator to assist with breathing.
To date, the Greater Toronto Area is responsible for nearly 64 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the province.
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
To date, Ontario has completed 588,958 tests for COVID-19. On Wednesday, the province completed 11,276 tests.
Currently, 5,516 test samples remain under investigation in Ontario.
Testing for COVID-19 has been a sore point in Ontario as the province struggles to reach the daily target of 20,000 tests.
Premier Doug Ford warned health officials on Thursday he "will be like an 800-pound gorilla on their backs" if testing numbers continue to fall below what is expected.
"Am I frustrated? Yes, I'm frustrated, but I have confidence in the team," Ford said at his daily news conference. "They are working hard, they are doing everything they can. We will hit those numbers and I will be like an 800-pound gorilla on their backs every single day if I have to until I see these numbers go up."
"It's all hands on deck."
Quick facts on all Ontario COVID-19 patients:
- 42.7 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 56.6 per cent are female.
- 3 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger.
- 24.8 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39.
- 30.4 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59
- 20.9 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79
- 20.8 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older.