TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting a spike in deaths related to COVID-19 as the province adds more than 1,300 new cases of the disease.

Health officials added 1,373 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, and 35 more deaths due to the disease. It’s the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since the second wave began in mid-September.

On Monday, the province reported that 19 people had died due to COVID-19, and on Tuesday, the province reported that 14 more people had died. Most of the deaths have involved residents of long-term care homes.

According to the province’s daily epidemiology report, 22 of the 35 deaths recorded on Wednesday were residents of those facilities.

Since the pandemic started in January, of the 3,554 people who have died in Ontario due to the disease, 2,467 were over the age of 80.

The new case numbers today come after Ontario’s auditor general released a scathing review of the Progressive Conservative government’s handling of the health care crisis.

The report stated that Ontario was “slower and more reactive” compared to other provinces largely because it “failed to act” on key lessons highlighted after the 2003 SARS outbreak.

Provincial health officials deemed 1,476 more cases to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing the total number of recovered patients in Ontario to 91,550.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 107,883, including deaths and recoveries.

There are 523 people currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, with at least 159 of those patients in an intensive care unit and 106 of them 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 1,373 cases reported on Wednesday, health officials say that 445 were in Toronto, 415 were in Peel Region and 136 were in York Region.

Toronto and Peel Region entered the province’s lockdown phase on Monday, which forced most non-essential businesses, including gyms, malls and personal care services, to close 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 61 new cases, Hamilton reported 49 new cases, Windsor-Essex reported 48 new cases, Simcoe-Muskoka and Halton Region reported 30 new cases each, Middlesex-London reported 26 new cases, Ottawa reported 23 new cases and Durham Region reported 26 new cases.

Most of the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Wednesday involve people under the age of 80.

There were 557 infections in people between the ages of 20 and 39, at least 392 in people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 175 in people between the ages of 60 and 79. There were 168 cases in people under the age of 19.

COVID-19 testing in Ontario

Officials processed 36,076 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours. The ministry of health said the province’s positivity rate now stands at about 4.7 per cent when including duplicate tests and errors.

There are 44,950 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.

In total, Ontario has processed more than six million tests since the pandemic began in January