The Ministry of Health reported 441 new cases of COVID-19, which marks the biggest daily increase Ontario has reported since May 8.
The cases were identified after health officials administered 11,276 tests, leading to a 3.9 per cent positive test rate. It’s now the fifth straight day that Ontario has failed to meet its testing goal of 16,000 tests a day, or its anticipated goal of 20,000.
Premier Doug Ford on Thursday said the recent trends in Ontario are “concerning,” since cases have been slowly increasing as Ontario fails to reach its testing goals. Chief medical officer of health Dr. David Williams said it’s “disappointing” that they haven’t seen a downward trend in the province’s daily cases.
Ontario’s seven-day averages, as of May 22, are 387 cases out of 11,160 tests. On May 15, the seven-day averages stood at 332 cases out of 16,242 tests.
Ford said his team is working to develop a new testing plan, focused on “random testing” of asymptomatic people, which he’ll provide an update on next week.
The premier would like to target groups such as truckers, taxi drivers, workers in automotive and food processing plants province-wide. He’d also like to go back to long-term care facilities to retest residents and staff.
“Am I frustrated? Yes, I’m frustrated,” said Ford on the lack of testing Thursday. “But I have confidence in the team. They’re working hard and doing everything they can; we’ll hit those numbers…I will be like an 800-pound gorilla on their backs every single day, if I have to, until I see these numbers go up.”
On Friday, the Ministry of Health also reported 28 more deaths, raising Ontario’s death toll to 2,021. They are among the province’s 24,628 total cases, which includes 18,767 recovered patients (an increase of 258 since Thursday).
In hospitals around the province, there are 961 patients (down by 23), which includes 153 in intensive care (down by two) and 120 who require a ventilator (up by three).
In long-term care facilities there are 171 outbreaks, which is a decrease of four, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Health.
In those facilities, 1,523 staff members are currently infected with COVID-19 (a decrease of 41), while among residents there are 2,252 infected (a decrease of 204), and 1,486 who have passed away (an increase of 34). Six staff members have also died after contracting the virus (an increase of one).