Ontario reported 404 additional cases of COVID-19 on Monday, a 1.6 per cent jump that continues an upward trend of new daily cases that began about two weeks ago.
The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections of the novel coronavirus since the outbreak began in January to nearly 26,000. Of those, 76 per cent are resolved.
Ontario’s network of labs processed just 8,170 tests since the last update, far below its benchmark of 16,000 per day and nowhere near the almost 20,000 tests it has capacity to handle on any given day.
The figure comes after Ontario expanded its novel coronavirus testing guidelines yet again over the weekend. At a news conference Sunday, Premier Doug Ford said that anyone who feels they need a test will be able to get it at one of the province’s 129 COVID-19 assessment centres, even if they are asymptomatic.
A memo from the Ministry of Health, however, raised questions about whether that is indeed the case. The memo, circulated yesterday, suggests that contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 is among the requirements for a test to proceed. It did not specify what level of confirmation of a person’s contact with a confirmed or suspected case would be necessary for a test to be administered.
The provincial government has faced criticism for its public messaging during the COVID-19 outbreak, with Ontario’s top doctor even acknowledging last week that it has been inconsistent at times.
Ontario’s official death toll from the illness grew by 29 yesterday and is now 2,102. Though the real current death toll, compiled from data provided directly by regional public health units, is at least 2,164.
More than 75 per cent of total deaths in the province were residents of long-term care homes.