New COVID-19 cases surpass 400 again in Ontario after dip in new infections on Wednesday
Published Thursday, September 24, 2020 10:20AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 24, 2020 1:58PM EDT
Ontario is reporting more than 400 additional cases of COVID-19 today after the province saw a slight dip in new infections one day earlier.
Provincial health officials recorded 409 new cases of the virus on Thursday, up from the 335 confirmed on Wednesday but down from the 478 reported on Tuesday.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases is now 402, marking the first time in months that this number has surpassed 400.
One week ago, the province's seven-day rolling average stood at 287.
More than 30,000 tests were completed over the past 24 hours, bringing the case positivity rate to 1.4 per cent, up significantly from 0.9 per cent on Wednesday.
According to the province’s latest epidemiological summary, more than 50,000 tests are still under investigation.
The province said Thursday that the “tests completed value is incomplete” today due to a Public Health Ontario (PHO) system outage on Wednesday night and “missed volumes will be included in tomorrow’s report.”
Of the new cases reported today, 151 are in Toronto, 82 are in Ottawa, and 46 are in Peel Region.
For weeks the three regions have consistently reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases.
About 63 per cent of all new cases are in people under the age of 40 but outbreaks are starting to inch up again in long-term care homes.
Three new outbreaks were reported in long-term care facilities over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of active outbreaks to 30.
One new virus-related death was reported today.
While 286 recoveries were logged on Thursday, the number of active cases continues to rise in the province.
There are now 3,774 active infections in Ontario, up from 2,427 last week.
Virus-related hospitalizations remain unchanged at 88 today, according to centrally-reported data.
The province says 27 of those patients are in intensive care, up three from one day earlier.
Local public health units and hospital data suggests that the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is actually 111.
“We see the numbers spiking up. It's extremely concerning and we have to act. We always knew that a second wave was coming and we’ve been preparing for months," Premier Doug Ford said on Thursday.
So far, the premier has revealed some key components of the province's fall preparedness plan, including an enhanced flu shot vaccination program and asymptomatic testing in select Ontario pharmacies.
Ford has said that introducing testing at pharmacies should help to reduce long line-ups and wait times reported at assessment centres across the province over the past two weeks.
He did not say how many tests could eventually be conducted by pharmacists but did indicate that he expects the number to be large enough to put “a big dent” in the overall demand for testing.
The province will also be spending $1 billion to boost COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, the premier announced Thursday.
Officials are also now barring any asymptomatic people with no ties to a vulernable sector of the population or known contact with an identified case from seeking a test.
New cases in the GTA:
Peel Region: 46
York Region: 34
Durham Region: 12
Halton Region: 11