The number of new COVID-19 infections in the province surpassed 1,400 today, setting yet another single-day record in Ontario.

Provincial health officials are reporting 1,426 new COVID-19 cases today, up from the 1,388 confirmed on Tuesday and the 987 recorded one week ago.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases has now surged to 1,216, up from 971 at this point last week.

With 36,707 tests processed over the past 24 hours, the test positivity rate dipped to 3.9 per cent, down from a record 5.7 per cent yesterday.

Fifteen more deaths have been recorded today, including seven residents of long-term care homes.

There are now 92 active COVID-19 outbreaks in the province's long-term care homes, up from 76 last week.

The number of active infections in the province has jumped by more than 2,000 over the past week, from 8,321 to 10,631.

Data released by the province indicates that there are now 424 people with COVID-19 receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals, with 88 in intensive care and 57 breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

According to local public health units and individual hospitals, there are at least 436 currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Provincial health officials said there were 468 new infections in Peel Region today, 384 in Toronto, and 180 in York Region.

The marks the highest number of cases recorded in Peel Region in a single day since the start of the pandemic.

The GTA accounts for close to 80 per cent of all new cases reported in the province today.

Both Peel Region and Toronto have implemented additional public health restrictions above and beyond what has been recommended by provincial health officials.

On Tuesday, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa banned fitness classes and indoor dining in bars and restaurants for another 28 days.

Meeting spaces, movie theatres, and casinos must also remain closed in Toronto under the new restrictions.

Toronto will also be placed in the "Red" category of the province's new colour-coded reopening framework, meaning gyms and fitness centres can open their doors but will only be permitted to allow 10 people inside at a time.

Peel is the only other region in the province that has been placed in the Red category.

Last weekend, Peel Region's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh introduced more restrictions to combat the rising rate of infection in the region.

Birthday parties, wedding receptions and other large gatherings have been prohibited, and there are additional restrictions for indoor dining and gym activity.

Residents in the region have also been told not to visit other houses or allow visitors of other households into their home.

'We are starting to see a pinch on the health-care system'

Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch said while it was a difficult decision to make, putting tighter restrictions in place was the right move.

"When you've got cases that are this high, you are really not left with a lot of options to get the virus under control," he told CP24 on Wednesday morning. 

"We are seeing a growth in cases and we are starting to see a pinch on the health-care system now and that's a big problem and you just can't have a sustained rate of 1,000 plus new cases per day and not expect this to cause major problems in terms of health and the health-care system."

He noted that when the health-care system starts to reach or exceed capacity, it has a detrimental effect on not only patients with COVID-19, but all people who need access to health care.

"The way we avoided that in the first wave was essentially by kicking everyone out of hospital and only having the sickest of the sick in hospital. But remember all of those elective surgeries were cancelled and we massively expanded hospital capacity but it came at a tremendous cost," he said.

"Many people... may still be feeling the sting of that tremendous cost. Hip surgeries, knee surgeries, eye surgeries, heart surgeries, cancer surgeries, all of these or most of these were cancelled."

He said hospitals in Peel Region are beginning to see the negative impacts of surging case growth.

"Peel is in trouble," Bogoch said. "We've seen from some hospitals in Peel that they are at capacity and exceeding capacity,"

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford said that the rise in cases keeps him “up at night" and he said he "can't rule out anything" if the trend persists, including a lockdown similar to the one announced in Manitoba on Tuesday.

All non-essential retail stores have been asked to close in the province, which has seen a dramatic spike in cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks.

"To answer your question if the numbers get totally out of control I won't hesitate to do what it takes to protect the health and safety of the people," Ford said.

On Wednesday, the premier said the only way to "beat" COVID-19 is to take a targeted approach.

"We've accepted the guidelines Dr. de Villa has put out," Ford said of the new restrictions in Toronto

"We are going to take a targeted approach moving forward."

New cases in the GTA:

Peel Region: 468

Toronto: 384

York Region: 180

Durham Region: 63

Halton Region: 30