Ontario health officials recorded more than 1,500 new infections in the province on Saturday, marking a new record in the daily-reported number of infections in the province.
Health officials confirmed 1,588 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday. For the past week, the province logged numbers below the 1,500 mark. Most recently, the province added 1,418 new cases on Friday and 1,210 new cases on Thursday.
This is the 16th straight day in which Ontario has reported case counts in the quadruple digits.
Saturday’s single-day rise in new infections marks a new record for the province, surpassing last Saturday’s record-breaking number of 1,581 cases.
The province also reported that 21 more people have died due to COVID-19, marking an uptick in the number of deaths from the day before when health officials reported eight new deaths.
Seniors continue to be the age group hardest hit by the pandemic. According to the province’s epidemiology report, 13 of the 21 deaths recorded on Wednesday were long-term care home residents.
Since the pandemic started, of the 3,472 people who have died in Ontario due to the disease, 2,409 were over the age of 80.
Provincial health officials deemed 1,363 more cases to be resolved as of Friday, brining the total number of recovered patients in Ontario to 86,079.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 102,378, including the 3,472 deaths and the 86,079 recoveries.
There are at least 513 people currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, and 146 of those patients are in an intensive care unit. Eighty-seven of them are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Last week, CTV News Toronto obtained a report by Critical Care Services Ontario that confirmed there were 150 patients in the province’s ICUs due to the novel coronavirus.
The province previously stated that once the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU reaches 150, it becomes harder to support medical needs not related to the disease. Furthermore, once 350 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU in the province, it becomes “impossible” to handle other medical needs.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
On Saturday, Peel Region reported 522 new cases, Toronto reported 450 new cases and York Region reported 153.
There were also 36 new cases recorded in Ottawa, 56 in Durham Region, 47 in Windsor-Essex, 26 in Middlesex-London, 47 in Hamilton, 53 in Halton Region, 42 in Waterloo, 26 in Simcoe Muskoka, 23 in Brant County, 34 in Niagara Region and 19 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph.
Starting Monday, Toronto and Peel Region will enter the province’s lockdown phase, which is the province’s final category in the COVID-19 tiered framework that guides restrictions.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford made the announcement on Friday, saying that most non-essential businesses, including gyms, malls and personal care services, will have to shutter in the province’s two COVID-19 hot spots for at least 28 days.
Most of the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Saturday involve people under the age of 80.
There were 590 infections in people between the ages of 20 and 39, at least 458 in people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 230 in people between the ages of 60 and 79. There were 234 cases in people under the age of 19.
COVID-19 testing in Ontario
Officials processed 46,671 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours. The ministry of health said the province’s positivity rate now stands at about 4.3 per cent when including duplicate tests and errors.
There are 43,047 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.
In total, Ontario has processed more than 5.8 million tests since the pandemic began in January.