Ont. sets single-day record for new COVID-19 cases for second day in a row as number of ICU patients surpasses 700
Published Friday, April 16, 2021 10:11AM EDT
For the second consecutive day, Ontario is reporting another single-day record for new cases of the novel coronavirus as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care surpasses 700.
Ontario health officials logged 4,812 new infections today, topping the previous record of 4,736 set on Thursday.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 4,292, up by more than 1,000 cases week-over-week.
The number of active, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario is now 39,977, up from 29,627 last week.
With 64,304 tests processed over the past 24 hours, the province is reporting a positivity rate of 8.2 per cent today, up from 6.3 per cent last Friday.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has now hit a startling new high of 701, according to data released by the Ministry of Health.
On Friday, Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, said the surge in ICU cases will likely mean hospitals will soon have to implement some type of triage protocol where doctors prioritize people for care based on their likelihood of survival.
"Every hospital has gone through simulation of this," he told Newstalk 1010 on Friday morning. "It is our greatest fear and I actually can't see a situation where some form of triage doesn't take place."
Another 25 virus-related deaths were confirmed in the province today and the average daily death toll has risen to 22, up from 15 seven days ago.
Sources confirm that new modelling set to be released by Ontario’s science advisory table today warns that daily case counts could hit between 12,000 and 18,000 by the end of May and the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care could surpass 1,600 by that point as well.
The record high case numbers and hospitalizations come amid reports that the Ford government is planning to introduce new public health restrictions to drive cases down.
Sources told CTV News and CP24 that the province is considering shutting down all construction projects that are not deemed critical infrastructure. Other limits could be placed on non-essential manufacturing and warehouse businesses, sources say, and the province could also introduce fines for non-essential businesses that refuse to let employees work from home when they are otherwise able to.
Prohibiting indoor weddings, funerals, and religious services is also something that is under consideration, the sources confirmed.
It is not clear whether the Ford government is still considering a curfew but an announcement is expected by the premier at 2:30 p.m. today.
"I just hope that the premier makes the right decisions today because we are in deep, deep trouble," Warner said. "At this point it is preservation of life that has to be the only thing that matters. Everything else has to be set aside."
Of the new cases confirmed today, 1,469 are in Toronto, 851 are in Peel Region, 491 are in York Region, 366 are in Ottawa, and 268 are in Durham Region.
Toronto's tally today is the highest single-day case count reported in the city since the start of the pandemic.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.