Ontario reports more than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19, highest number on record
TORONTO -- New COVID-19 cases in Ontario continue to surge with more than 1,500 new infections logged.
Thursday’s report marks the third straight day in which the province has reported record-breaking case numbers.
The 1,575 new infections bring Ontario’s lab-confirmed case total to 89,784, including 3,293 deaths and 75,220 resolved cases.
With 39,559 tests completed in the last 24 hours, Ontario's COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 4.0 per cent.
The news comes as the province is set to release new COVID-19 projections. The modelling data is expected to show how the disease could spread in Ontario over the coming weeks.
Health officials last released modelling data in October that suggested that the province would see roughly 800 cases per day through November.
However, daily case counts in the province have spiked since then with recent case numbers surpassing even the worst-case scenario previously presented by the modelling table.
Ontario’s seven-day average for number of new cases is now 1,299, a far cry from the average of 981 cases reported this time last week.
According to the Ministry of Health's daily epidemiologic summary, 533 of the new cases were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 39. That age group leads the province in lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections at 32,422 cases.
Another 472 cases were reported in people between the ages of 40 and 59.
At least 242 cases were reported in people 19 years of age and younger and 242 cases were reported in people between the ages of 60 and 79.
Eighty-four new cases were reported in people 80 years of age and older.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the new cases added Thursday are in Toronto and Peel Region, two of the hardest hit areas in Ontario in terms of the daily number of infections.
Toronto logged 472 new cases and Peel added 448. Peel Region is currently in the “red zone” of the province’s colour-coded COVID-19 framework with enhanced measures in place, as recommended by local medical officers, and will be joined by Toronto on Saturday.
That framework has been met with sharp criticism following its release last week. On Thursday, the Ontario Medical Association argued that the strategy falls short of preventing the spread of the disease.
"Doctors are worried,” Dr. Samantha Hill, president of the organization that represents 43,000 doctors in the province, said in a news release.
“It is clear the new tiered framework is not enough to control the virus, which is spreading among more and more people.”
Meanwhile, York Region reported 155 new infections and Ottawa reported 91.
A number of other public health units reported new case numbers in the double digits, including Durham Region, Waterloo and Halton.
There are currently 431 patients in hospital with COVID-19. Of those patients, 98 are being treated in an intensive care unit and 62 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.