Ontario reports fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, cites technical issue in Toronto
TORONTO -- COVID-19 infection numbers in Ontario dropped to levels unseen in weeks Tuesday though the province says there is likely an “underreporting of cases today” due to a technical issue at Toronto Public Health.
Of the 1,913 new infections reported only 550 were found in Toronto.
“For your reference, over the past several days Toronto has reported 815, 1035 and 903 cases,” the Ministry of Health said in an email.
Toronto Public Health has regularly reported the most COVID-19 infections per day in Ontario throughout the pandemic.
At the same time, testing for COVID-19 has fallen well below the province’s capacity with only 34,531 tests processed in the last 24 hours. The last time testing was this low was back on Dec. 29 when only 34,112 tests were completed.
This brings Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate to 6.8 per cent.
The province's COVID-19 case total now sits at 242,277, including deaths and recoveries.
Forty-six deaths related to COVID-19 occurred in the previous day. At least 20 of those who died were residents of a long-term care home which pushes Ontario's COVID-19 death toll to 5,479.
As well, 2,873 more cases are now considered to be resolved by the Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 209,183 people previously infected with the virus have recovered.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Case numbers were generally low across Ontario Tuesday, though the Ministry of Health said it is not aware of any other reporting issues in regions of the province, with the exception of Toronto.
For example, Niagara Region reported just 52 cases a day after reporting 151 infections. Meanwhile, Peel Region reported 346 infections, far lower than the 507 cases logged a day earlier.
Conversely, 235 cases were found in York Region, marking a sharp increase over the 151 reported on Monday.
There are currently 1,626 patients in hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 400 patients are being treated in intensive care and 292 are breathing with the assistance of a ventialltor.
This marks the first time since the beginning of the pandemic that the province has reported 400 patients in intensive care.
The province has previously said that when there are more than 300 patients in the ICU, non-COVID-19-related care becomes impossible to facilitate.
On Monday, the government announced the addition of 500 ICU beds to relieve the strain on the province’s hospital network.
At least 35 of those beds will go online on Feb. 7 following the opening of Mackenzie Health's new Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital.
It’s unclear when the remaining 465 beds will be open for patients or where they will be housed.