Ontario reports 335 new COVID-19 cases, marking considerable drop from last 2 days

Ontario reported another 335 cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, a marked departure from new daily case counts observed earlier this week. 

The figure comes as the province’s labs processed 35,400 test samples for the novel coronavirus, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

The new cases are once again mostly concentrated in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa, with 102, 79 and 65 respectively.

Three other public health units saw double-digit increases as well:

  • York Region: 30
  • Halton Region: 15
  • Waterloo Region: 13

In a series of tweets, Elliott noted that some 69 per cent of newly confirmed infections are in people under 40 years old, consistent with trends in recent weeks.

The relative drop in new daily cases comes after more than 400 were reported on four of the last five days. The 478 infections in yesterday’s provincial report were the most on any single day since May 2, just after community spread of the virus was considered to have peaked in Ontario.

Despite today’s figure, the five-day rolling average of new daily cases, a measure that smooths peaks and valleys in data, has been trending steadily upward since mid-August. Those increases have accelerated considerably over the last 10 or so days. 

Ontario has now seen a total of 48,087 confirmed cases of the illness since the outbreak began in late January. About 86.5 per cent of those infections are considered resolved. Another 258 were marked resolved in today’s update. 

There are currently some 3,652 confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 provincewide, the most since June 9. Public health units with more than 100 current active infections include:

  • Toronto: 1,178
  • Peel Region: 779
  • Ottawa: 594
  • York Region: 308
  • Waterloo Region: 129
  • Halton Region: 122

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to slowly but steadily grow, and is now up to 88. Twenty-four of those people are being treated in intensive care and nine are on ventilators.

The province’s official COVID-19 death toll increased by three in today’s report and sits at 2,835. A CBC News count based on information provided directly from public health units puts the real toll at at least 2,872.

Meanwhile, the provincial government says it will hire 98 new labour inspectors this fall as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces.

Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says the government will begin to recruit the workers in October.

The hiring blitz will increase the number of government inspectors from 409 to 507 and will cost $11.6 million.

McNaughton says the inspectors will allow the government to respond faster to situations that may arise during the pandemic.

Labour inspectors investigate workplace hazards, injuries, fatalities and work refusals.

They also have the power to stop unsafe work, order employers to comply with the law, and initiate prosecutions.

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