Ontario reports more than 1,800 new cases of COVID-19, ICU admissions continue to rise
TORONTO -- Ontario reported a rise in the number of patients battling COVID-19 in the province’s intensive care units Thursday, as it also marked a single-day increase in the number of new cases.
Health officials confirmed 1,824 new cases of the novel coronavirus after several days of case numbers above the 1,700 mark, but clarified that the number might be slightly skewed due to a data processing error.
The province suggested that today’s case total might have been smaller if the data processing error had not occurred. Due to the error, officials said the province’s case total on Thursday included 127 cases from Middlesex-London Health Unit, which counted infections reported over the past three days.
On Thursday, officials also reported that 14 more people have died due to COVID-19. Just the day before, the province stated that 35 more people died due to the disease. Most of the patients who died were residents of long-term care homes.
More than 600 people are battling the disease in hospitals across the province with 195 patients now in intensive care. Of those patients, 107 are on ventilators.
The province has said that once the number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario’s intensive care units surpasses 150, it becomes more difficult for hospitals to support medical needs not related to the disease. Once that number surpasses 300, the government says it becomes nearly impossible.
Latest modelling data presented by health officials on Nov. 26 predicted that more than 200 COVID-19 patients would need to receive care in ICUs in Ontario “under any circumstance" in December. The data suggested that the number might climb over the 300 mark by mid-December.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 121,746, including 3,712 deaths and the 103,239 recoveries.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
The three COVID-19 hot spots continue to be the most impacted regions in the province. Locally, Peel Region confirmed 592 new cases, Toronto confirmed 396 new cases and York Region confirmed 187 new cases.
Toronto and Peel Region are currently in lockdown in order to curb the spread of the disease. The province closed non-essential businesses in these regions, including shopping malls, personal care services and gyms, for 28 days.
Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 case numbers in the triple and double digits on Thursday.
Waterloo reported 87 new cases, Halton Region reported 68 new cases, Windsor-Essex reported 62 new cases, Durham Region reported 57 new cases, Hamilton reported 56 new cases and Ottawa reported 42 new cases.
Most of the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Thursday involve people under the age of 80. Seventy-eight infections involved people over the age of 80.
There were 728 cases in people between the ages of 20 and 39, at least 499 in people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 251 in people between the ages of 60 and 79. There were 261 cases in people under the age of 19.
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
The province marked an increase in testing numbers on Thursday, saying they completed 52,873 tests over a 24-hour period. Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate now stands at 4.4 per cent.
For a number of days now, the province had been reporting testing numbers below their daily goal of 50,000.
In total, Ontario has processed more than 6.4 million tests since the pandemic began in January. There are 58,320 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.