Ontario is reporting a dip in the number of new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, but government officials say that a technical error resulted in an underestimated count today and an overestimated count yesterday.
The province issued a statement outlining the error, explaining that the record-breaking 1,589 new cases reported on Monday was overestimated and the 1,009 new cases reported today are underestimated.
Due to the technical issue, Monday’s report included cases registered up until 8 p.m. on Nov. 22 instead of up until 12 p.m. as usual, which led to the two-day error, the province said.
Health officials have not confirmed how many cases should not have been included in Monday’s total and added to today’s total instead. When averaging out new infections reported on both days, Ontario saw 1,299 cases.
The province also reported on Tuesday that 14 more people have died due to COVID-19. The day before, the province reported 19 more deaths.
Seniors continue to be the age group hardest hit by the pandemic. According to the province’s epidemiology report, 10 of the 14 deaths recorded on Tuesday were people living in long-term care homes.
Since the pandemic started in January, of the 3,519 people who have died in Ontario due to the disease and 2,441 were over the age of 80.
Provincial health officials deemed 1,082 more cases to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing the total number of recovered patients in Ontario to 90,074.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 106,510, including deaths and recoveries.
There are at least 534 people currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19 and 159 of those patients are in an intensive care unit. Ninety-one of them are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province previously stated that once the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU reaches 150, it becomes harder to support medical needs not related to the disease in hospitals. Furthermore, once 350 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, it becomes “impossible” to handle other medical needs, the province said.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Of the 1,009 cases reported on Tuesday, health officials say that 497 were in Toronto, 175 were in Peel Region and 118 were in York Region. Officials say these numbers may be underestimated due to the technical error.
Toronto and Peel Region entered the province’s lockdown phase on Monday, which is the final category in the province’s COVID-19 tiered framework that guides restrictions.
Most non-essential businesses, including gyms, malls and personal care services, will have to shutter in the two COVID-19 hot spots for at least 28 days.
Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the double digits.
Waterloo reported 40 new cases, Windsor-Essex reported 31 new cases, Simcoe-Muskoka reported 25 new cases, Ottawa and Niagara Region reported 19 new cases, Durham Region reported 16 new cases and Hamilton reported 10 new cases.
Most of the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Tuesday involve people under the age of 80.
There were 354 infections in people between the ages of 20 and 39, at least 307 in people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 130 in people between the ages of 60 and 79. There were 163 cases in people under the age of 19.
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
Officials processed 27,053 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours. The ministry of health said the province’s positivity rate now stands at about 5.8 per cent when including duplicate tests and errors.
There are 29,316 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.
In total, Ontario has processed more than 5.9 million tests since the pandemic began in January