TORONTO -- Ontario has confirmed 41 more COVID-19-related deaths and recorded the second highest daily case count with more than 2,400 new infections.

On Wednesday, provincial health officials logged 2,408 new cases of the novel coronavirus, marking the ninth straight day of case counts surpassing 2,100.

The highest daily case count in the province was seen on Dec. 17 when 2,432 infections were recorded.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,304, up from 1,962 one week ago.

There were 56,660 COVID-19 tests completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period.

The province’s test positivity rate now stands at about 4.8 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases logged on Wednesday, 629 are in Toronto, 448 are in Peel Region, 234 are in Windsor-Essex County, 190 are in York Region, 150 are in Hamilton, and 136 are in Durham Region.

Other areas that recorded more than 50 cases of the disease on Wednesday include Ottawa (56), Middlesex-London (72), Southwestern (53), Halton Region (88), Niagara Region (76), and Waterloo Region (80).

Wednesday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 162,663, including deaths and recoveries.

With the 41 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Wednesday, the province’s death toll is now 4,229. Of the deaths confirmed Wednesday, 16 were residents of long-term care homes.

Health officials deemed 2,243 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 139,010.

There are currently 19,424 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

According to the province, there are at least 1,002 patients infected with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 275 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 186 of those 275 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

At this time last week, there were 932 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals and 256 of those patients were in the ICU.

COVID-19 modelling released by the province on Monday shows that the number of infected patients in Ontario’s ICUs will surpass 300 within the next 10 days in all possible scenarios. The modelling also stated that that number could surpass 1,500 by mid-January under the worst-case scenario.

The province has said that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, medical care not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.

In an effort to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the rest of the province will join Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Windsor-Essex, and Hamilton in lockdown on Boxing Day.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26, lockdown measures ordered by the provincial government will last until Jan. 23 in the southern parts of the province (south of Sudbury) and until Jan. 9 in the northern parts.