Ontario reports one-day dip in COVID-19 cases but still logs more than 500 new infections
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting a one-day dip in the number of new COVID-19 cases but has still logged more than 500 new infections.
Health officials reported 538 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 52,248.
The province also logged three additional COVID-19-related deaths, which brings the total number of fatalities to 2,851. The number of resolved cases in Ontario also increased by 515.
The majority of new cases on Thursday were reported in Toronto-area health units. Locally, there are 229 new cases in Toronto, 101 in Peel Region, 66 in Ottawa and 43 in York Region.
Ontario completed nearly 40,000 tests in the previous 24-hour period, which makes Thursday's positivity rate just over one per cent. There are more than 82,400 tests still under investigation.
There are now 4,975 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, up from less than 900 in late July.
The majority of total deaths to date in Ontario have been reported in people over the age of 70.
One person, under the age of 19, who had COVID-19 died in Ontario, but it is not clear if the death was caused by the disease or other health issues.
Eleven patients who died were between the ages of 20 and 39, while 122 were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 769 were between the ages of 60 and 79
There are currently 162 patients in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19. Of those 162 patients, 37 are being treated in an intensive care unit, 17 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The number of patients being treated in intensive care is a critical marker for whether the province needs to implement new restrictions. Once that number rises above 150, the province says it becomes more difficult to maintain non-COVID-19 capacity and all scheduled surgeries.
According to new COVID-19 modelling released on Wednesday, the number of new cases in Ontario is now doubling every 10 to 12 days.
Ontario could record 1,000 new cases per day by mid-October.
The modelling does not take into account the government's recent tightening of public health measures, which include slashing social gatherings, closing strip clubs and tougher restrictions on bars and restaurants.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said Wednesday the province will "have some more actions coming" to flatten the second wave of the disease.
Williams said in order to lessen the effect of the second wave, residents must again strictly follow public health rules.
"We need to pull up our socks," he said. "We can impact the curve."