Ontario reports new single-day record with nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 infections, testing reaches new heights
TORONTO -- Ontario has broken another record for the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported in a single day as testing for the disease in the province also reaches an all-time high.
The 1,983 cases reported Thursday represent an increase over Wednesday’s total when 1,890 infections were logged.
The previous record was set on Monday when the province logged 1,925 new cases. Records were also set on the Sunday and Saturday before that.
Ontario's seven-day average for number of cases reported now sits at 1,862.
This comes on the same day that the province processed more than 60,000 COVID-19 tests for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. With that, the province’s positivity rate for the disease stands at 3.6 per cent.
Thursday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario to 134,783, including deaths and recoveries. At least 35 of those deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, pushing the province’s death toll to 3,871.
Of the deaths recorded in the previous day, 24 were residents of a long-term care home.
Another 1,804 cases are now considered to be resolved. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 114,679 Ontarians previously infected with the novel coronavirus have recovered.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the cases reported Thursday were found in Peel Region and Toronto, two areas of the province currently operating in the "grey zone" of the government's colour-coded COVID-19 framework.
Those measures, which were introduced nearly three weeks ago, saw the closure of most non-essential businesses and are set to last until at least Dec. 21.
It's unknown if the province plans to extend those public health restrictions beyond that date, but new COVID-19 modelling data set to be released by the provincial government later today could paint a clearer picture.
York Region also reported new case numbers in the triple digits Thursday. The region is currently operating in the "red zone" of the same framework, which places caps on the size of indoor gatherings and other non-essential activities.
Last week, health officials for the area pleaded for the government not to move the region into the "grey zone" as case numbers climbed, saying that a lockdown would do little to curb the spread of infection. Premier Doug Ford's government approved their request.
Every Friday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams makes recommendations on public health restrictions that should be implemented in various areas of the province based on infection trends.
Windsor-Essex logged new case numbers in the triple digits as well and is also currently operating in the "red zone."
The City of Hamilton, Halton Region, Durham Region and Waterloo recorded infections in the double digits and are also operating in the "red zone."
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to climb
As of Thursday, there are 829 patients in hospital with COVID-19, marking an increase of 18 patients admitted in the previous day.
Of those patients, 228 are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 132 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Health officials in the province have said in the past that it becomes nearly impossible to treat non-COVID-19-related patients when there are more than 300 patients in the ICU.
In November, modelling released by the province suggested Ontario could cross that threshold by mid-December.
Since the start of the pandemic, the province has conducted more than 6.7 million tests for COVID-19. At least 66,326 tests are currently under investigation.