Ontario reports 653 new cases of COVID-19 today as new public health measures come into effect
Published Saturday, October 3, 2020 10:20AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 3, 2020 2:40PM EDT
Ontario is reporting a dip in new COVID-19 infections today following a record-high daily case count one day earlier.
The province recorded 653 new cases of COVID-19 today, down from 732 confirmed one day prior.
Despite today's drop, the number of new infections has pushed the rolling seven-day average to 613, up from 582 one day earlier.
In August, when the province saw a significant drop in COVID-19 activity, the daily case average dipped down to as low as 84.
More than 46,000 tests were completed over the past 24 hours, bringing the case positivity rate to 1.4 per cent.
The province is still working to clear a massive testing backlog with more than 90,000 specimens still waiting to be processed.
Active cases continue to climb in Ontario as new infections outpace recoveries.
There are now 5,380 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, a massive increase from just six weeks ago, when active cases were below 1,000.
Of the new cases recorded today, 284 were reported in Toronto, 104 were in Peel, and 97 were in Ottawa.
About 60 per cent of all new infections are in people under the age of 40.
Four more deaths were reported today along with an additional 37 that were not included in previous totals.
Provincial health officials say the additional deaths, which occurred in either the spring or summer, have been identified as part of a "data review and data cleaning initiative."
The total number of virus-related deaths in the province now stands at 2,968.
According to centrally-reported data, the number of patients infected with COVID-19 who are receiving care in Ontario hospitals dropped to 155 but intensive care admissions increased to 41, up four from one day earlier.
New public health measures now in effect
The rise in cases in the province has prompted Premier Doug Ford to implement new public health measures to slow the spread of the virus.
On Friday, Ford announced that close contact should be restricted to people within your household, a departure from a previous policy that advised people to create "social bubbles" of up to 10 people.
“As much as possible we need to limit close contact with anyone outside your households,” Ford said on Friday. “My friends, this is serious. We have to offer our full support and every power possible to help our healthcare sector fight this second wave.”
The province also announced that all of Ontario's testing centres will be moving to an appointment-only system by Tuesday as colder weather arrives.
In response to the spike in cases, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa urged residents Friday to only go out for "essentials."
In an open letter to Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams, de Villa recommended a series of new restrictions that would be in place for the next 28 days, including the suspension of indoor dining at bars and restaurants as well as the cancellation of all group fitness classes and sports activities that take place indoors.
New cases in the GTA:
Peel Region: 104
York Region: 50
Halton Region: 12
Durham Region: 7