Coronavirus Canada Udaptes: Ontario reports 827 new COVID-19 cases

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Coronavirus Canada Updates: Eight new COVID-19 cases reported in New Brunswick
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Eight new COVID-19 cases reported in New Brunswick

Ontario reported 827 more cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, while the province’s labs processed fewer than 24,000 tests — about half of their daily capacity.

Of the new cases, Toronto saw 355 new cases, while Peel Region recorded 169 and York Region 89.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that limits noise in the data and provides a clearer picture of longer-term trends, increased slightly up to about 879, another record high. Compared to the previous five days, the rate of increase slowed considerably.

The province is also reporting 691 more resolved cases, and an additional four deaths, bringing the total death toll to 3,103.

The new case numbers come after a record-breaking weekend and seven-day average, which health officials said was partially to blame on Thanksgiving and other large gatherings.

As for testing levels, Ontario currently has laboratory capacity for about 45,000 tests daily. Fewer than 30,000 tests were completed on each of the last two days.

The province recently moved to limit tests for asymptomatic people, reserving them instead for those with symptoms or who had exposure to someone with a confirmed case.

A Ministry of Health official told CBC News that since testing is demand driven, the numbers typically dip earlier in the week with fewer people booking appointments to be tested on the weekend.

Asked about testing levels at a news conference Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford maintained Ontario continues to lead the country in testing, with nearly five million tests completed.

Health Minister Christine Elliott added that the province has identified areas in Toronto and Peel Region for mobile or pop-up testing but provided no specific details about when and where that may happen.

Hospitalizations climb

The relatively low number of tests has pushed the province-wide positivity rate to about 3.45 per cent, also a new high.

Provincial health officials have previously said that a 2.5 per cent positivity rate is reason for serious concern.

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