Just 24,049 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, the fewest since Sept. 9.
Ontario reported 821 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the second-most on a single day since a resurgence of the illness began in the province in mid-August.
Toronto once again saw the most with 327, while 136 were recorded Peel Region and 79 in Ottawa.
The new case count is the highest number the province has seen in the second wave, since 939 cases were reported on Oct. 9. The seven-day average of new daily cases, which had been slowly dropping over the last several days, ticked back up with today’s update and is now about 743.
Notably, just over 24,000 tests were completed yesterday — the lowest number of tests Ontario has processed on a single day since Sept. 9. The province previously said it aimed to be processing 50,000 tests per day by mid-October, and as many as 68,000 daily by mid-November.
The number of confirmed, active infections of the novel coronavirus in Ontario is 6,237, an all-time high.
Hospitalizations, as well as the number of patients in intensive care and using ventilators, all went up. Hospitalizations rose from 252 yesterday to 274 today, ICU patients went from 69 yesterday to 72 today, and people in the ICU using ventilators went from 40 to 45.
The province is also reporting three more deaths.
Premier appeals to people with symptoms to get tested
Asked Tuesday about the relatively low levels of testing in the last 24 hours, Premier Doug Ford said the province’s labs have now cleared through a backlog of tests that once ballooned to more than 90,000 and that there is capacity for as many as 50,000 daily, but that people can’t be forced to be tested.
Ford said the province has set up additional testing units in hotspots, but some people seem to be holding back from getting an assessment.
The province changed its testing guidelines last month, making COVID-19 tests available only to symptomatic people by appointment at its assessment centres.
The change came after the government was heavily criticized for hours-long lineups at walk-in testing centres that assessed people with or without symptoms.
Meanwhile, Ontario is extending most of its emergency orders until Nov. 21 as the province faces a resurgence of COVID-19.
In a news release Tuesday, the provincial government announced the extension will be in place for 30 days with exceptions for orders around pandemic pricing on electricity and electronic access to personal health records.
“With the cold and flu season upon us and the continuing high number of COVID-19 cases in certain parts of the province, it’s critical we continue to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of Ontarians,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.