Ontario reported 2,432 new cases of COVID-19 on December 17, the highest daily case count the province has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
This is the third consecutive day cases have surpassed the 2,000 mark. There were 2,139 new cases on Wednesday, 2,275 on Tuesday and 1,940 on Monday.
The growing case numbers have prompted the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) to call for a four-week lockdown in every public health unit with an infection rate of 40 new cases per 100,000 people or higher.
The association is also recommending the grey lockdown zone be re-evaluated to determine if additional, stricter provisions are necessary.
“This… is necessary to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario and to ensure that hospitals do not face a devastating surge in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization and intensive care in January,” the OHA wrote in a statement.
Toronto cancels winter camp programs
On Wednesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said he was in talks with Premier Doug Ford’s office about extending and potentially expanding lockdown measures across the GTA as Toronto Public Health reported its highest daily case count: 850.
There have now been more than 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Toronto, with case growth doubling in the past eight weeks.
On Thursday morning, the city cancelled all planned 2020 holiday CampTO camps and winter instructional programs, including the Learn-to-Skate and Instructional Ski programs to prevent COVID-19 spread.
Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa recommended the move as cases continue to rise.
The holiday camps were scheduled to run at 30 locations beginning December 21. Approximately 706 people had registered and there were close to 441 registrations for Learn-to-Skate programs, and 4,919 instructional ski spaces. Ski registration had not yet opened.
The city is issuing refunds automatically to all current camp and Learn-to-Skate registrants.
Today, the province reported 737 new cases in Toronto, 434 in Peel, 209 in York Region, 190 in Windsor-Essex County and 142 in Hamilton.
Medical labs completed 58,178 tests in the past 24 hours, marking a 4.2 per cent positivity rate.
An additional 23 people died in the past day, with a death toll of 187 over the past week.
There are 919 people currently hospitalized in Ontario, with 263 people in intensive care and 172 of those patients on ventilators.
Of the deaths reported on December 17, 13 were long-term care residents.