Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario sees its biggest backlog in tests

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Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario sees its biggest backlog in tests
Coronavirus Canada updates: Ontario sees its biggest backlog in tests

In its latest 24-hour stretch, Ontario completed 15,179 tests for COVID-19, leading to 399 new positive diagnoses.

It’s the fourth-highest amount of tests the Ministry of Health has completed in a 24-hour time frame since the start of the pandemic, but the province also saw its testing backlog grow to 13,012, which is the biggest it’s ever been.

This week, Ontario health officials have faced scrutiny from Premier Doug Ford, saying that some haven’t been ordering enough tests for their specific regions.

“I’m calling them out right now – you’ve got to pick up the pace,” said Ford on Tuesday at Queen’s Park. “I’ll tell you right now, I’m disappointed in the chief medical officers in some regions. I’m not going to name them – they know who they are – start picking up your socks and start doing testing.”

In early April, Ontario had set a goal of 16,000 tests a day by May 6. Health officials surpassed that mark each day between May 1-3, which garnered praise from the premier. But Ford changed his tone when the province went back down to 10,654 on Tuesday, saying that 17 or his 34 chief medical officers “aren’t even putting the work in.”

Ontario’s backlog has grown each day since then. The province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said the issue stems from the fact they can’t always receive tests from all of its regions in a timely manner. The problem becomes worse over the weekend, when a system isn’t in place, leading to a spike on Tuesday and Wednesday.

48 more facilities in Ontario

Along with the 399 new cases, increasing Ontario’s total to 19,121, there were 48 more deaths reported, raising the province’s death toll to 1,477.

Among the province’s total diagnoses are 13,569 resolved cases, an increase of 347, setting a recovery rate of 71 per cent. There are now also 1,033 patients in hospital (up by one since Wednesday’s update), including 220 in intensive care (up by one) and 155 people on ventilators (down by 19)

The dire COVID-19 situation in long-term care homes continues, with 174 outbreaks around the province, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Care. There are now 2,831 residents diagnosed with COVID-19 (an increase of 12 since Wednesday) and 1,671 staff members (an increase of 50). Thirty-seven more residents have died, for a total of 1,111 fatalities among residents in LTCs.

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