Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to hold a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. ET at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Ford’s office says he will be joined by Minister of Health Christine Elliott.
You can watch it live in this story.
Ontario reported an additional 700 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the most on a single day since the outbreak began in late January.
The figure surpasses the previous high of 640, which came on April 24, when community transmission of the novel coronavirus was thought to be at its peak in the province.
A majority of newly confirmed cases are concentrated in four public health units:
- Toronto: 344
- Peel Region: 104
- Ottawa: 89
- York Region: 56
Other areas with double-digit increases include:
- Niagara Region: 20
- Halton Region: 15
- Hamilton: 13
- Simcoe Muskoka: 12
Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a series of tweets that about 60 per cent of new cases today were found in people under 40 years old.
Thirty-six are “school-related,” according to the ministry, including 27 students, three staff and six people categorized as “individuals not identified.” A total of 224 of Ontario’s 4,828 publicly-funded schools, or about 4.64 per cent, have reported at least one case of the illness.
The news comes as Ontario’s labs processed around 41,111 test samples for the respiratory illness, with another 49,586 in the queue waiting to be completed. The positivity rate in today’s report is 1.7 per cent, markedly higher than on any day since the province ramped up testing significantly in June.
More than 40,000 test samples have been processed on each of the last four days. Elliott has previously said the province hopes to reach capacity for up to 50,000 tests per day in the coming weeks.
The number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to steadily rise, and now sits at 128. Twenty-eight of those patients are being treated in intensive care, while 17 are on ventilators.
Further, data from some 40 hospitals around the province was not submitted in time to be included in today’s report, the ministry says.
Meanwhile, 44 long-term care facilities throughout the province are reporting outbreaks, a figure that has been slowly increasing in recent weeks. During the peak of COVID-19 cases in Ontario, long-term care residents accounted for about two-thirds of all deaths.
Ontario has now seen a total of 50,531 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the entirety of the outbreak. Of those, about 85.3 per cent are considered resolved. Another 331 were marked resolved in today’s update.
There are currently about 5,571 confirmed, active infections of the novel coronavirus provincewide. The most active cases ever observed were 5,669 on April 23.
WATCH | Infectious disease specialist Isaac Bogoch explains if targeted restrictions will be enough to keep cases in check:
OHA calls for tighter restrictions
Shortly after the Ministry of Health published its daily report, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) released a statement calling for stricter public health measures in Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa.
“A return to Stage 2, with restriction on indoor dining and bars, places of worship, wedding, gyms, movie theatres and other non-essential businesses, is needed now to keep schools and prevent a further acceleration of infections,” said Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the organization.
The OHA said it has heard from member hospitals that administrators and staff are concerned that a rise in infections will inevitably lead to higher admissions, putting unsustainable strain on resources and care.
“We’ve seen in jurisdictions around the world how acute care capacity can be easily overwhelmed if the number of positive cases rises too sharply,” the statement said.
“While Canada’s health-care system has many strengths, our capacity is limited, and we can no longer sustain a false sense of security and belief that this will not happen to us.”
Dale said the OHA understands how a return to Stage 2 in these areas could negatively impact businesses, but said public health considerations must come first.
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