Ontario records highest number of new COVID-19 deaths since June, adds more than 1,800 cases
TORONTO -- The number of new COVID-19-related deaths has spiked in Ontario as the province logs more than 1,800 new cases of the disease on Friday.
Forty-five people infected with COVID-19 died in the last 24 hours, marking the highest number of deaths recorded since June 4, when the same number of deaths was added.
Ontario's COVID-19 death toll now sits at 3,916.
At least 29 of those who died in the previous day were residents in a long-term care home. There are currently 137 long-term care homes in Ontario with a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
The 1,848 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported across the province on Friday push Ontario's lab-confirmed case count to 136,631, including 116,432 recoveries.
The news comes as the province completed a record number of COVID-19 tests in the previous 24-hour period, with 63,051 tests processed. This is the second straight day in which the province has completed more than 60,000 tests, far outpacing the province's own goal of 50,000 tests per day.
With that, the province's COVID-19 positivity rate is currently 3.2 per cent, the lowest it's been since Nov. 2.
Most cases reported in Toronto and Peel Region, Windsor-Essex and York Region move to lockdown
The lion's share of the cases reported Friday were found in Toronto and Peel Region, with 469 and 386 infections recorded respectively.
Those two regions are currently operating in the "grey zone" of the province's tiered framework which saw the closure of most non-essential services last month.
Windsor-Essex and York Region have now also been placed in the "grey zone" as case numbers in those areas continue to grow.
High case numbers were also reported in the City of Hamilton, Durham Region, Waterloo and Halton Region, all of which are also operating in the "red zone."
Seven more COVID-19 patients in intensive care
While the total number of those in hospital has decreased by 21 in the past 24-hour period, admissions to intensive care in Ontario are up by seven.
There are currently 808 patients in hospital with COVID-19. Of those patients, 235 are in an intensive care unit (ICU) and 124 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
New modelling released on Thursday shows that the province saw a 91.6 per cent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past four weeks, and a 165.9 per cent increase in the number of patients in intensive care due to the disease.
Officials predict that more than 200 ICU beds will be occupied by COVID-19 patients for at least a month.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 6.8 million tests for COVID-19 have been processed. There are currently 69,280 tests under investigation.
With files from CTV News Toronto's Miriam Katawazi.