Canada

Ontario reports 251 new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations continue to decline

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Testing levels in the province approached the 20,000 mark again yesterday after dropping off steeply in the days immediately following the weekend, a trend seen throughout the pandemic in Ontario. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported 251 additional COVID-19 cases and testing levels jumped back above the province’s target on Wednesday.

It’s the second straight day with a growth rate in new daily cases of about 0.8 per cent, a figure last seen in Ontario in late March.

There have now been 31,341 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province since the outbreak began in late January. For the first time, a full 81 per cent of those are resolved. Some 551 cases were marked resolved yesterday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet that 59 of today’s new cases are related to an outbreak in southwestern Ontario, where “public health officials are hard at work to contain an outbreak.” The “vast majority” of the others are in the Greater Toronto Area, she added.

There are now 3,486 active COVID-19 cases across the province, more than 300 fewer than yesterday. For reference, in late May there were more than 4,000 active cases.

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Further, Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed 19,941 tests, more than the benchmark of 16,000 per day set in April. The Ministry of Health says the system has capacity for nearly 25,000 on any given day.

The backlog of test samples waiting to be processed stands at 13,897, meaning that more than 20,000 were added to the queue yesterday.

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Credit: CBC News

Meanwhile, the number of patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals continues to decline and now stands at 580, the fewest since April 5. Those being treated in intensive care units rose slightly to 118, up from 116, and those requiring a ventilator dropped by 2, down to 86.

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Credit: CBC News

Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by 11 and stands at 2,475. A CBC News count based on data from regional public health units puts the real current toll at 2,519. About 78 per cent of all deaths in the province were residents of long-term care homes.

Public health officials have tracked outbreaks of the novel coronavirus in a total of 312 long-term care facilities, and 75 remain active.

Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to hold his daily briefing at 1 p.m. ET. Ford’s office says he will be joined by Elliott and Ross Romano, minister of colleges and universities.

CBC News

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