The number of daily new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario dropped below 2,000 for only the second time in four weeks.
“Ontario is reporting 1,958 cases of #COVID19 and nearly 36,000 tests completed,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted Monday. “Locally, there are 727 new cases in Toronto, 365 in Peel and 157 in York Region.”
Provincial data released Monday counts 1,398 COVID-19 patients in hospital, including 397 in intensive care and 283 on ventilators.
COVID-19 was blamed for 43 more deaths, in addition to 50 on Sunday, and 5,846 in total since the first case was identified exactly one year ago Monday.
Twenty-seven of Monday’s deaths were among long-term care (LTC) residents.
Premier Doug Ford and Elliott issued a joint statement Monday in response to the grim anniversary.
“A year ago today, we were presented with one of the most difficult challenges in our history with the confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in Ontario,” the statement said. “The rapid spread of the virus through the province, the country and around the world would lead the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020.
“Since then, Ontario has tragically lost 5,846 lives to this deadly virus. We mourn the passing of each and every person and offer our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.”
The approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have offered a “beacon of hope” to the province, the statement said.
“Until vaccines are widely available, we are urging all Ontarians to continue to follow all public health advice,” the provincial leadership said. “Simply put, we must all continue to stay home, stay safe, and save lives.”