Ontario confirms 309 new cases of COVID-19, the lowest one-day increase since March 31
A docttor handles a vial in this image. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Monday, April 6, 2020 10:34AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, April 6, 2020 4:19PM EDT
Ontario has reported 309 new cases of COVID-19, making it the lowest one-day increase over the last week.
The province has also confirmed an additional 13 deaths in people confirmed to have the virus, pushing the total number of fatalities so far to 132.
The number of new cases is down from the record 462 confirmed on Friday and represents the lowest total reported since March 31 when there were just 260 new cases.
The backlog in tests waiting to be processed has also virtually disappeared after nearing 11,000 less than two weeks ago and now stands at only 329.
Public health officials have previously said that eliminating that backlog would be necessary in order to get a clearer picture of how drastic measures to curtail public life were impacting the transmission of the virus in Ontario, so the lower number of new cases is encouraging in that context.
However, it should be noted that hospitalizations involving people confirmed to have the virus do continue to track upwards. There are currently 589 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, which is up 12 per cent from just one day prior. The number of those people in intensive care units, meanwhile, is up eight per cent to 216.
There have also been 46 outbreaks reported at long-term care homes (up two from Sunday), resulting in 456 confirmed cases among residents and another 280 confirmed cases among staff.
So far, 56 people have died in long term care homes due to COVID-19, including 26 at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon.
Healthcare workers now make up 10 per cent of all cases
The latest data released by the province also includes information about the number of health care workers confirmed to have the virus for the first time.
It says that there are currently 451 confirmed cases in healthcare workers, which represents about 10 per cent of all known cases.
The number of cases reported by Greater Toronto Area health units, meanwhile, stands at 51 per cent, though that number has been trending downwards after exceeding 60 per cent last week. Toronto Public Health alone has reported 1,039 cases.
The total number of cases of COVID-19 provincewide currently stands at 4,347, including 1,624 people who are believed to have recovered.
So far, a total of 78,796 people have been tested for the virus in Ontario.
In recent weeks, testing has been primarily focused on select priority groups, including health care workers and first responders.
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's associate chief medical officer of health, said officials are currently reassessing the testing criteria to allow more people to be tested.
"Now that the testing capacity has gone up, we want to expand who is tested but in a way that is controlled so we don't end up with a backlog," she told reporters at a news conference on Monday afternoon.
"We know we can expand, we just have to come up with specific groups and how to do it and that will be communicated out very quickly. In the meantime, the assessment are aware that there is increased capacity and we are certainly saying if you are concerned about this person, please do test them."