Ontario has recorded a slight spike in the number of new COVID-19 cases and logged 10 more deaths, including the province’s first fatality under the age of 20.
Health officials logged another 216 patients infected with the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the provincial total number of cases to 33,853.
In Ontario, fewer than 200 new cases have been confirmed on nine of the past 10 days.
“While it’s too early to draw conclusions from a single day of data, we’re watching closely for shifts in COVID-19 trends as we gradually reopen the province’s economy and as local public health officials work quickly to contain any spread,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.
Ten more deaths were also confirmed by provincial health officials on Tuesday, including the first fatality under the age of 20.
According to the province, the deceased patient under 20 years old was a female from Toronto who tested positive for the virus on June 20.
“We are aware of a recent death of a Toronto resident who was in the 0-9 age category who died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19,” Lenore, Bromley, a spokesperson for Toronto Public Health, said on Tuesday.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to the individual’s family during this difficult and tragic time, and also to everyone who has lost loved ones to this virus.”
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Coroner for Ontario Dr. Dirk Huyer confirmed the cause of the death for this female is under investigation.
“When we are involved in an investigation… we look at all aspects to try and understand the circumstances of death,” he said. “When we find something in early tests, if it’s something that is required to be notified, then we will let the reportable disease be known to the medical officer of health.”
“While the death may not have – and I’m not providing whether it is or isn’t because it’s still a work in progress to understand – when there is an infection found it is important for anybody who may have intersected with that child, whether that child was specifically infected and died or didn’t die from COVID-19.”
Huyer said “the fact that it’s found, we need to ensure that everyone else knows.”
“It is work that we are still trying to evaluate, we don't know exactly the roll at this point but it's important that is gets notified and therefore would lead to public reporting after that.”
Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll now sits at 2,619.
More than 1,800 people 80 years of age or older have died of COVID-19 in Ontario, as well as 693 people between the ages of 60 and 79, 102 people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 11 people between the ages of 20 and 39.
There are currently 288 COVID-19 patients receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 75 of them are in the intensive care unit and 54 of those 75 patients remain on a ventilator.
As of Tuesday, 174 more cases in the province were considered to be resolved, bringing the provincial total number of recovered patients to 29,107.
Where are the new COVID-19 infections?
According to provincial health officials, 168 (78 per cent) of the new infections logged on Tuesday are in Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, and Windsor-Essex.
There are 63 new cases in Toronto, 46 in Peel Region, 27 in York Region and 32 in Windsor-Essex, Tuesday’s epidemiological summary states.
Twenty-seven of Ontario’s 34 local public health units reported five or fewer cases on Tuesday, with 17 reporting no new cases at all.
This comes as the majority of the province’s local public health unit regions have, or are about to, enter Stage 2 of Ontario’s restart phase, allowing additional businesses, including hair salons, restaurant patios and malls, to reopen.
All of the province’s local public health regions were allowed to enter Stage 2 of Ontario’s restart plan last week, except Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford announced that Toronto and Peel Region can move on to Stage 2 on Wednesday, but Windsor-Essex will remain in Stage 1 as they deal with an outbreak of the disease amongst migrant workers.
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon at Queen’s Park, Ford said his government “will have more to say on a plan going forward” regarding the protection of these migrant workers against COVID-19 on Wednesday.
“We are doing everything we can right now to help you and I'm 100 per cent behind our farmers and I will always have your backs,” he said. “But, I need your help as well. We have to make sure that testing is available to our farmers and to the workers, that's our best defense right now. So, I will say this again, if you're working on a farm and you're worried about COVID-19, please go get tested.”
Daily COVID-19 testing falls below provincial capacity
Thus far, more than 1.2 million novel coronavirus tests have been conducted throughout Ontario.
Over the past week, daily testing numbers have steadily surpassed the provincial capacity of 20,000, but the last-recorded 24-hour period only saw 16,189 be conducted.
Currently, 16,418 tests for COVID-19 remain under investigation in the province.