Ontario reports rise in deaths and more than 2,600 new cases of COVID-19
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting a hike in the number of COVID-19 cases as the province increases testing for the disease following a two-day slump.
The province confirmed 2,655 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday after officials reported 2,578 cases on Monday and 1,913 cases on Tuesday. The province said that Tuesday’s numbers were likely impacted by an “underreporting of cases” due to a technical issue at Toronto Public Health.
The province’s positivity rate dropped to 4.6 per cent on Wednesday, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health. The province completed 54,307 tests over the past 24 hours after two days of testing numbers below lab capacity.
The province’s seven-day average for the number of infections recorded is now 2,849, down from 3,479 one week ago.
Health officials also reported that 89 more people have died due to the disease in the previous day. The last time the province logged that many deaths was on Jan. 7 when another 89 deaths were recorded.
Many of the people who died due to COVID-19 in the province were residents in long-term care. On Wednesday, 42 of the 89 deaths reported were people living in such facilities.
In total, the province has recorded 5,568 deaths related to COVID-19.
Health officials reported that 1,598 people are currently in hospital due to the disease. Of those patients, more than 395 are in intensive care, and 296 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Officials have said that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, medical care in hospitals not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.
The province also deemed 3,714 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 212,897.
Wednesday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 244,932, including deaths and recoveries.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Of the 2,655 cases reported on Wednesday, health officials said that 925 were in Toronto, 473 were in Peel Region and 226 were in York Region.
Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the triple digits, including Windsor-Essex (179), Niagara Region (129) and Waterloo (101).
Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a stay-at-home order for the province beginning on Jan. 14 and immediately declared a second state of emergency on Jan. 12.
The order will remain in effect for at least 28 days.
As of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 237,918 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 13,784 doses administered in the past 24 hours. The vaccine requires a booster shot and, as such, 32,361 complete vaccinations have been completed as of Wednesday.
Due to a shortage of the Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, the province announced Tuesday it’s changing its vaccination strategy to ensure the most vulnerable are given their necessary second shot.