Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario reports nearly 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 as number of patients in the ICU continues to rise

Today's coronavirus Canada - Update: New Brunswick reports 27 new COVID-19 cases
Today's coronavirus Canada - Update: New Brunswick reports 27 new COVID-19 cases

Ontario is reporting nearly 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 as it moves three more regions into more restrictive categories in its tiered framework.

The Ministry of Health says that there were 1,780 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus confirmed on Thursday, along with another 25 deaths.

That is a slight dip on the 1,824 cases reported one day prior and the record 1,855 cases reported last Friday.

As a result, it pushes the rolling seven-day average down slightly to 1,757.

That number, however, is 18 per cent higher than it was at this time last week when it stood at 1,489 and 28 per cent higher than where it stood just two weeks ago when it was 1,372.

Hospitalizations also continue to increase amid warnings that elective surgeries and procedures are now being cancelled in some hard-hit communities.

As of Thursday there were a total of 674 COVID patients receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals, including 207 in intensive care units.

It is the first time that the number of COVID patients in the ICU has crossed the 200 threshold since the first wave of the pandemic in the spring.

Back then the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU peaked at 264 on April 9 and took more than a month to decline below 200 following that.

The good news is that the positive cases reported on Friday come as the province conducted 56,001 individual tests.

That is the second highest number of tests ever completed in a 24-hour period. The Ministry of Health says that the positivity rate was 3.6, which is the lowest it has been since Nov. 28.

The latest numbers come as the Ford government moves the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit into the orange category for COVID-19 restrictions. It is also moving the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit from the green to the yellow category amid a rise in cases there.

633 new cases in Toronto

Of the new cases on Friday nearly 60 per cent of them were in the two regions currently under lockdown with Toronto reporting 633 cases and Peel reporting 433.

Meanwhile, York reported another 152 cases while Durham reported 94, Halton reported 51 and Hamilton reported 43.

The other two red zones outside of the GTA, Windsor and Waterloo, reported 68 and 40 new cases respectively.

People between the ages of 20 and 39 represented the biggest share of new cases but there were 60 cases reported among elderly Ontarians age 80 and above.

Of the 25 new deaths reported, 15 involved residents of long-term care home where there are now 117 active outbreaks of COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, more than 3,700 Ontarians have died.

More than 63 per cent of them were residents in long-term care homes.

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