Coronavirus Canada updates: Worrisome trends continue in Ontario’s COVID-19 fight

Coronavirus Canada Updates: Over 20,000 COVID-19 recoveries in Manitoba
Coronavirus Canada Updates: Over 20,000 COVID-19 recoveries in Manitoba

The Ministry of Health reported 412 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, after performing 11,028 tests in its latest 24-hour stretch.

It now marks the sixth straight day that the province has failed to meet its goal of 16,000 tests a day, or its max capacity of 21,000. It’s also the third day that Ontario has reported more than 400 cases.

In comparison, between May 9 and May 18, the province had gone through a stretch where it stayed below the 400 daily case mark each day, while also hitting its testing goal on six of those 10 occasions.

Throughout the past week, Premier Doug Ford and health officials have both called the trends “concerning.” As of May 23, Ontario’s seven-day averages are 390 cases out of 10,197 tests. It’s a steady rise compared to May 16, when the seven-day averages stood at 338 cases out of 16,033 tests.

The premier said if there aren’t improvements he won’t hesitate to roll back the province’s reopening plans, with Ontario currently in its first phase, which kicked off Tuesday.

To ramp up testing over the weekend, Ford said the province will investigate both symptomatic and asymptomatic frontline health-care workers, and also perform a second round of testing in long term care homes.

More details on a new testing plan are also expected next week, which could include “random testing” of asymptomatic people in high-risk settings, such as truckers, taxi drivers, and workers in automotive and food processing plants province-wide.

Ministry of Health update

Along with the new cases on Saturday, 27 more people have died after contracting the respiratory virus, increasing Ontario’s death toll to 2,048.

There are now 19,146 who have recovered, an increase of 379 since Friday’s update, setting a recovery rate of 76.5 per cent in Ontario.

In hospitals around the province, there are 912 patients (down by 49), which includes 147 in intensive care (down by six) and 119 who require a ventilator (down by one).

In long-term care facilities there are 165 outbreaks, which is a decrease of six, according to the Ministry of Long-Term Health.

In those facilities, 1,437 staff members are currently infected with COVID-19 (a decrease of 86). Among residents there are 2,148 infected (a decrease of 104), and 1,495 who have passed away (an increase of nine). Six staff members have also died after contracting the virus.

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