New COVID-19 case numbers in Ontario have once again reached new heights as the province logged more than 2,900 new infections for the first time.
The 2,923 cases added Wednesday mark a sharp increase over the previous record of 2,553 set a day earlier.
At the same time, testing for COVID-19 in Ontario continues to fall well below the province’s recent run of 60,000 plus tests processed per day.
With just 39,210 tests completed in the last 24 hours, Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate sits at 8.4 per cent, according to numbers provided by the government.
Wednesday's report brings Ontario’s COVID-19 case total to 178,831, including deaths and recoveries.
Nineteen of those deaths, 13 of which were in residents of a long-term care home, were recorded in the last 24 hours, pushing Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll to 4,474.
At the same time, 2,237 more cases are now considered to be resolved by the Ministry of Health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 153,799 people who contracted COVID-19 have recovered.
A record 1,069 new cases were reported by Toronto Public Health on Wednesday morning. The province documented a slightly lower, but still record-setting, 998 cases for the city due to a difference in reporting cut off times.
Peel and York regions both recorded new case numbers in the 400s.
Windsor-Essex, Durham and Halton regions reported new case numbers above 100.
COVID-19 hospitalizations surpass grim milestone
There are currently 1,177 people in hospital with the novel coronavirus in Ontario, which marks the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province since the beginning of the pandemic.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 peaked at 1,043 in the first wave.
Meanwhile, there are 323 patients being treated in an intensive care unit. The province has said that when there are more than 300 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, medical care not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.
The province crossed that benchmark on Tuesday.
COVID-19 modelling data released by the province last week showed that in the worst-case scenario, COVID-19 patient occupancy in the ICU could surpass 1,500 by mid-January.
Of the patients in the ICU, 204 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.