Ontario surpasses 150,000 COVID-19 cases since beginning of pandemic
TORONTO -- More than 150,000 people in Ontario have contracted COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic as officials log more than 2,000 new cases of the disease for the fourth day in a row.
On Friday, health officials reported another 2,290 new infections and 40 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus. The new cases mark a decrease from the record-breaking 2,342 infections logged a day earlier.
There were 2,139 cases recorded on Wednesday, 2,275 on Tuesday and 1,940 on Monday.
The rolling seven-day average of COVID-19 cases now stands at 2,089.
Seniors continue to be hardest hit by the disease. There are 150 ongoing outbreaks at long-term care homes across the province, as well as 83 outbreaks in retirement homes.
Of the deaths recorded on Friday, at least 11 were residents of long-term care homes.
Since the pandemic began, 2,862 people over the age of 80 have died after contracting COVID-19.
There were 1,075 people who died between the ages of 60 and 70, and at least 164 people who died between the ages of 40 and 59.
Sixteen people between the ages of 20 and 39 have died after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The new cases come as Ontario Premier Doug Ford deliberates further COVID-19 measures in light of the increase in daily-reported infections and hospitalizations.
According to the province, there are at least 877 people being treated for COVID-19 in hospitals across Ontario and 261 of those patients are in intensive care units (ICU). Of ICU patients, at least 168 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Where are the COVID-19 cases?
Most of the new infections continue to be found in Ontario’s lockdown regions.
There were 691 cases in Toronto, 361 in Peel Region, 296 in York region and 207 in Windsor-Essex.
Other municipalities that have recorded more than 50 cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours include Ottawa (52), Durham (89), Simcoe-Muskoka (61), Hamilton (126), Halton (57), Waterloo (84) and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (51).
The province also hit an all-time record of more than 68,200 COVID-19 tests processed in the last 24 hours, which they say brings the positivity rate to 3.9.
More than 81,000 COVID-19 tests are currently under investigation.
Ford is expected to reveal any changes in terms of what regions are in what category of his five-level COVID-19 lockdown framework later on Friday.
The Ontario Hospital Association has called for a “robustly” enforced four-week lockdown for all regions in the “red” zone, or the fourth tier, of the framework—or any public health unit reporting a rate of 40 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.
But the premier has so far ignored the call, saying on Thursday that while he “won’t hesitate” to put new measures in place, he also doesn’t want to make a “snap decision.”
As of Thursday, all areas of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area have surpassed the red-zone threshold. Peel Region is reporting the highest weekly incidence rate of 223.66 per 100,000 while Toronto is reporting a weekly incidence rate of 151.56.
Hamilton has a weekly incidence rate of 128.97 per 100,000 people, which is higher than York Region (120.5), an area currently in lockdown.
The total number of lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 151,257, including 4,098 deaths and 129,417.