Ontario reports nearly 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, sets new high for seven-day average
Loleta Welch uses a log book at a COVID-19 screening at the entrance of Yorkwoods Public School, in Toronto, Ont., on Wednesday, Aug., 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting close to 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday morning, pushing the province’s seven-day average to new heights.
The 987 new infections represent a slight decrease over Tuesday’s total when a single-day record of 1,050 cases were logged.
The province’s seven-day average for number of cases reported now stands at 972, the highest it has ever been.
Another 16 COVID-19-related deaths were recorded in the province over the last 24-hour period, a number unseen since mid-June.
Wednesday's report brings Ontario's total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases to 79,692, including 3,182 deaths and 68,189 recoveries. With 28,567 tests processed in the previous day, the province’s COVID-19 positivity rate is sitting at 3.5 per cent.
On Tuesday, the Ontario government announced a new tiered shutdown system that aims to provide more transparency for when to impose lockdowns and closures due to COVID-19.
The new framework stipulates that each of Ontario's 34 public health units will be placed in one of five categories, based off their current COVID-19 trends. Each category comes with a different set of restrictions for businesses.
The government will finalize and announce where each public health unit is placed in the system on Friday.
Most of the new cases reported Tuesday are in people between the ages of 20 and 39, with 322 new infections in that age group.
There were 316 cases in people between the ages of 40 and 59 as well as 157 cases in people 19 years of age and younger.
Another 133 cases were recorded in people between the ages of 60 and 79. Fifty-nine new infections were in people 80 years of age and older.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the cases were reported in Toronto (319), Peel (299) and York (85) regions.
Known as the province’s COVID-19 hot spots, all three regions are currently observing a modified version of the Ontario government’s Stage 2 public health measures, which restrict indoor dining at restaurants and bars and access to gyms and movie theatres.
Ottawa is also under those restrictions, however only 48 new cases were reported in that area over the last 24 hours.
Yesterday, Premier Doug Ford said that based on the current trends, Ottawa, Peel and York regions will be moved to the restrict level of the new shutdown framework on Nov. 7 at 12:01 a.m., which will allow for the reopening of gyms and indoor dining with capacity limits and restricted hours.
Toronto, at the request of Mayor John Tory, will move to the restrict level a week later on Nov. 14.
There are currently 367 patients in an Ontario hospital being treated for their COVID-19 symptoms. Of those patients, 75 are in an intensive care unit 44 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.