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Ontario records spike in COVID-19 cases, reporting highest number in a week
TORONTO -- Ontario has reported a spike in COVID-19 cases, recording the highest number of new patients in a week, as a new month begins in the battle against the disease.
Health officials confirmed an additional 404 cases on Monday as well as 10 deaths. This marks the first time in a week where the number of daily reported COVID-19 cases was over 400.
The new patients bring the province’s total number of lab-confirmed cases to 28,263, including 2,276 deaths and 22,153 recoveries.
According to the epidemiological summary, eight of Ontario's deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. Ninety-three of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and604 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 1,571 deaths. According to the provincial data, at least 1,400 of those patients were residents at long-term care homes.
There are 181 outbreaks at long-term care homes across Ontario, as well as 90 outbreaks in retirement homes and 47 in hospitals.
Officials are reporting that 4,730 health-care workers have contracted COVID-19 and six have died as a result.
Responding to Monday’s spike in cases, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said majority of the new patients are in Toronto and Peel Region.
“Certainly we can hypothesis on why there has been an increase, and part of it is we will be looking at where the increase has been,” Yaffe said during an afternoon news conference.
“Whether people were out more and perhaps not following social distancing as much as they should have been, that would certainly be a contributor.”
Yaffe went on to state that “we all want nice weather, but we have to be careful.”
State of emergency to be extended
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is asking that the province's state of emergency be extended another 28 days.
The state of emergency was set to expire on June 2.
The news comes as the province struggles with the first stage of reopening the economy, with the Ontario's health minister saying there is still "some distance to go" before reaching Stage 2.
"(The numbers) have bobbed up and down a little bit in the last week to 10 days but generally speaking they seem to be going down," she said.
"We need to take a careful and measured approach to any further opening up of the economy."
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
In the last 24 hours, officials conducted 14,379 tests for the novel coronavirus, a drop from Sunday’s 17,014 and Saturday’s 20,640 tests.
Saturday marked the first time the province has hit its goal of conducting 20,000 tests a day—a goal that had been in place since mid-May.
In total, the province has conducted more than 732,000 tests for COVID-19. As of Monday, 6,427 are pending.
Quick facts on all COVID-19 patients in Ontario:
• 43.8 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 55.3 per cent are female.
• 3.6 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger.
• 26.2 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.
• 20.2 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79.
• 19.4 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older.
• Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 66.3 per cent of all cases.
• 5.5 per cent of all patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill.
• 61.2 per cent of all patients had close contact with a previously confirmed case or were "outbreak-associated."
• 19.9 per cent of all patients had "sporadic community transmission."
• 13.4 per cent of all patients had exposure information listed as "missing or unknown."