Ontario records another spike in new COVID-19 cases
TORONTO -- For the second straight day, Ontario health officials are reporting more than 400 cases of the novel coronavirus after a week of cases below that number.
Health officials confirmed an additional 446 cases on Tuesday, as well as 17 more deaths, including two people under the age of 39. The province had reported an additional 404 cases of the disease on Monday, which was the first time the tally had climbed past 400 after a week of case numbers in the 300s.
The new patients bring the total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province to 28,709, including 2,293 deaths and 22,484 recoveries.
According to Tuesday’s epidemiological summary, 10 of Ontario's deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. Ninety-two of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 607 people were between the ages of 60 and 79.
There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger.
People 80 years of age or older continue to be the hardest hit age group with 1,584 deaths. According to the provincial data, at least 1,465 of those patients were residents at long-term care homes.
There are currently 801 patients in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19. Of those, 125 are in intensive care.
Case growth linked to outbreaks in agricultural setting
Much of the case growth is the result of outbreaks in agricultural settings in southern Ontario, including a farm complex in Simcoe, Ont., where at least 164 workers are battling COVID-19, and a greenhouse near St. Catharines with at least 20 cases.
The Ontario New Democrats called on the Ford government to provide support and resources to hotspots in the agricultural sector, where “significant outbreaks of COVID-19 have occurred among migrant and contract agricultural workers.”
“My heart is heavy on behalf of those who are sick, many of them far from their homes and families,” NDP Workplace Health and Safety critic Wayne Gates said.
“Premier Doug Ford needs to immediately deploy resources to hotspots, and in the agricultural sector, that must include mobile testing units, local motel or hotel facilities for isolation, personal protective equipment, and ensured access to clean water and sanitation.”
The NDP said in a news release issued Tuesday that a temporary foreign worker in the Windsor-Essex area, a man in his thirties, has died due to COVID-19.
They added that workers should have been better protected and that “crowded bunk-housing conditions should have been addressed by the province earlier to stop the spread.”
“These are essential front-line workers playing a role in critical food supply chain businesses. They need personal protective equipment, sanitizing stations, and the ability to self-isolate to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Taras Natyshak, the NDP’s ethics and accountability critic, said.
“This kind of help is long, long overdue, but it’s not too late to protect the workers who are still healthy, and protect an important part of our regional economy and provincial food supply.”
Province falls below daily testing goals
The province is falling short of its 20,000 daily testing goal once again. On Tuesday, the province reported it has tested 15,244 people over the past 24 hours.
On Monday, officials conducted 14,379 tests for the novel coronavirus, a drop from Sunday’s 17,014 and Saturday’s 20,640 tests, which had marked the first time the province had hit its goal.
In total, the province has conducted more than 747,964 tests for COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 10,622 are pending.
Quick facts on all COVID-19 patients in Ontario:
- 44.1 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 55.1 per cent are female.
- 3.6 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger.
- 26.5 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39.
- 30.6 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59.
- 20.1 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79.
- 20.1 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older.
- Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 66.2 per cent of all cases.
- 5.4 per cent of all patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill.
- 61.4 per cent of all patients had close contact with a previously confirmed case or were "outbreak-associated."
- 20.1 per cent of all patients had "sporadic community transmission."
- 13.1 per cent of all patients had exposure information listed as "missing or unknown."