Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario hits its testing goal after increased measures, but records most deaths this week

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Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario hits its testing goal after increased measures, but records most deaths this week
Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario hits its testing goal after increased measures, but records most deaths this week

After a 10-day stretch of Ontario not reaching its testing goal, the province has finally surpassed 16,000 tests in a day.

Among 17,615 completed tests, the Ministry of Health was able to identify 383 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, setting a positive test rate of 2.2 per cent and increasing the province’s total case count to 26,866.

In an effort to increase testing, Premier Doug Ford said anyone in the province can now can be investigated for COVID-19 if they feel they need to be. Previously, you needed to have at least one symptom or a history of being in a high-risk setting to qualify for a test.

“I will be like an 800-pound gorilla on their backs every single day, if I have to, until I see these [testing] numbers go up,” said Ford, late last week, on how he plans on working with health officials to reach their goals.

Over the weekend, health officials started to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic frontline health-care workers, as well as complete a second round of testing in long-term care homes. Chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said in the past that Ontario doesn’t have a system in place over the weekend to move some of its tests to labs, therefore it’s expected to see an increase later into the workweek.

Along with the new cases, 34 more COVID-19 related deaths have been recorded in the province’s latest 24-hour stretch. It’s the biggest increase since Ontario reported 43 fatalities on May 20.

There are now 20,673 people who have recovered from the respiratory virus, an increase of 301 since Wednesday’s update. Among the province’s 4,004 active cases of COVID-19, there are 833 people in hospital (down by 14), which includes 137 in intensive care (down by 13) and 94 on ventilators (down by 23).

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Health, there are 129 outbreaks around the province, down by six. Among those facilities, there are 1,591 residents who have passed away (an increase of four), while 1,655 people remain currently infected (down by 110). In addition, there are 1,160 active cases among staff members (down by 56), while there remains six who have died.

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