Ontario reports record high 1,050 new cases of COVID-19 today as testing rate drops
Published Tuesday, November 3, 2020 10:21AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 3, 2020 3:54PM EST
Ontario is reporting a record 1,050 new COVID-19 infections today and a test positivity rate above four per cent as just 25,000 tests were processed over the past 24 hours.
Today's case count is the highest the province has seen in a single day since the start of the pandemic, breaking the previous record of 1,042 set late last month.
With 948 new cases confirmed on Monday and 977 new infections reported on Sunday, the rolling seven-day average of new cases now stands at 950, up from 885 one week ago.
The province's testing rate has dropped dramatically in recent days with just 25,300 tests processed over the past 24 hours and 27,900 tests completed one day earlier.
Provincial health officials previously said they hoped to begin processing 50,000 tests per day by mid-October, a target they have consistently failed to reach.
As of today, the test positivity rate provincewide is now 4.2 per cent, up from 3.46 per cent last week.
Fourteen more virus-related deaths were also recorded in Ontario today, double the number of fatalities confirmed one day earlier.
Eight of those deaths involve residents of long-term care homes in the province.
There have been a total of 3,166 deaths linked to COVID-19 in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic.
COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have been on the rise since the start of the second wave though both numbers have been significantly lower than figures reported during the first wave of the pandemic.
On Tuesday, the province said there are currently 357 people infected with COVID-19 who are receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals.
But a count of data from local public health units and hospitals on Tuesday afternoon found at least 393 people receiving treatment for COVID-19 in hospital.
Of those patients, 73 are in intensive care and 47 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
408 new cases in Toronto
Of the new COVID-19 infections reported by the province today, 408 were from Toronto, 212 were from Peel Region, 86 were from Halton Region, 76 were recorded in York Region, and 57 were in Durham Region.
Gyms, movie theatres, and indoor dining rooms were closed in Toronto, Peel, Ottawa, and York last month in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the virus hot spots.
On Tuesday, Premier Doug Ford said gyms will be permitted to reopen and indoor dining will resume with additional restrictions in Peel, York, and Ottawa on Saturday under a new framework unveiled by the provincial government on Tuesday.
Those businesses will not be permitted to open in Toronto until at least Nov. 14.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford said Toronto Mayor John Tory specifically asked that the restrictions remain in place in the city until that time.
"Mayor Tory has asked us for a little more time in Toronto and as always I will support him," Ford said at Queen's Park while sharing details of the province's new tiered, regional system for COVID-19 restrictions.
Ford said the new colour-coded system released by the province today was developed, in part, to provide more certainty to businesses, families and workers.
"It takes a gradual approach to public health measures cautiously, escalating or reducing restrictions as we see changes in the local data," he said.
Speaking to CP24 on Tuesday morning, infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24 that he supports the idea of a tiered strategy for reopening the province.
"I think it is a great idea. It is a regional approach, which is smart," Bogoch said.
He noted that transparent metrics should reduce ambiguity when it comes to knowing when COVID-19 restrictions should be put in place and when they should be loosened.
"If this is data-driven and transparent, everybody knows what to expect and when to expect it," he said.