TORONTO -- Following three days of the province seeing a slight decrease in the number of reported COVID-19 cases, Ontario health officials confirmed 525 new patients on Tuesday and logged a single-day high with 59 deaths.

On April 24, the province recorded 640 more cases. A downward trend then began the next day with 476 new cases of the novel coronavirus. One day later, 437 new cases were confirmed and the next day, 424 more.

Then, on Tuesday, provincial health officials announced the case count had spiked again with 525 new cases reported, 101 more than the day prior.

The province now has 15,381 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 951 deaths and 8,964 recoveries.

The 59 new deaths recorded by the province on Tuesday is the highest number of deceased patients confirmed in one day since health officials began tracking COVID-19 cases at the end of January.

Tuesday’s epidemiological summary states that six of those who have died of the novel coronavirus in the province were between the ages of 20 and 39. Forty-two others were between the ages of 40 and 59, 256 were between the ages of 60 and 79 and 647 were 80 years of age or older.

According to data from the Ministry of Long-Term Care also released on Tuesday morning, 705 residents of long-term care homes in Ontario have died of COVID-19. There has been one death reported among staff at these facilities. The Ministry states that there are 154 outbreaks at long-term care homes across the province.

There are currently 957 patients in Ontario hospitals receiving treatment for COVID-19. Of those patients, 239 of them are in an intensive care unit and of those 239 patients, 187 of them remain on a ventilator to assist with breathing.

Overall, 11.3 per cent of all Ontario COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized at one point.

‘We do get blips in the data’

Speaking on Tuesday afternoon, Ontario’s medical officer of health urged people not to make any conclusions based on the spike in cases and deaths.

“We’ve been saying all along that data collections systems change and vary,” Dr. David Williams told reporters.

Williams said that an increase in testing, a “cleansing” of data and a survey of more than 85 long-term care homes may have impacted the increase in numbers. He warned that while it may be “disappointing” to see the spike, it should be taken in that context.

“Some of these blips, these one-day things, are to be looked at but it’s the overall trend that is important to see.”

Quick facts on all Ontario COVID-19 patients:

  • 41.6 per cent of all patients in the province are male and 57.5 per cent are female – 141 cases did not specify male or female gender
  • 44.6 per cent of all patients are 60 years of age or older – seven cases did not specify their age
  • 2.2 per cent of all patients are 19 years of age or younger
  • 22.9 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 20 and 39
  • 30.2 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 40 and 59
  • 22.2 per cent of all patients are between the ages of 60 and 79
  • 22.4 per cent of all patients are 80 years of age or older
  • Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 59.4 per cent of all cases
  • 13.9 per cent off all patients are health-care workers
  • 8.8 per cent of all patients had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill
  • 19.7 per cent of all patients had contact with a previously confirmed case
  • 36.5 per cent of all patients had community exposure
  • 35 per cent of all patients had exposure information listed as pending

COVID-19 testing in Ontario

Across the province, thus far, more than 250,000 novel coronavirus tests have been conducted.

Approximately 10,000 tests were conducted in the last record 24-hour period.

There are currently 6,282 tests under investigation in Ontario.