Ontario reports record-high 978 new COVID-19 cases, six new deaths
Published Saturday, October 24, 2020 10:27AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 24, 2020 2:27PM EDT
Ontario is reporting 978 new cases of COVID-19 and six additional deaths on Saturday, setting a new record-high of infections across the province.
The last time the province’s daily case count surpassed 900 was on Oct. 9 with 939 new infections.
Saturday’s new cases represent a notable increase from the 826 infections reported on Friday. The province logged 841 new cases on Thursday and 790 on Wednesday.
Today’s new infections also represent a move closer to the provincial government’s modelling projections released last month that predicted there would be 1,000 daily cases by mid-October if no new measures or restrictions were placed to curb the spread of the virus.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 802 in Ontario.
The majority of new infections continue to be from the Greater Toronto Area.
“Locally, there are 348 new cases in Toronto, 170 in Peel, 141 in York Region, 89 in Ottawa and 51 in Durham. There are 625 more resolved cases,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted Saturday morning.
Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region recorded 51 new cases, up from 38 on Friday, and Halton Region logged 21 new cases, a decrease from 34 a day earlier.
Durham and Halton are the only GTA regions that are currently in Stage 3 as Toronto, Peel and York moved to a modified version of Stage 2 earlier this month in response to a spike of cases.
On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said he hopes to have an answer by Monday on whether these regions, where COVID-19 case counts have been steadily rising, will be moved back into Stage 2 as well.
"Well, we are going to discuss all the different regions that we see a little escalation in the cases and we will be able to discuss that on Monday and give you a clearer answer, but again please just keep practicing social distancing, hand washing and face masking,” Ford said during the briefing.
Elliott said nearly 44,200 tests were completed by provincial labs in the last 24 hours bringing the province’s positivity rate to 2.2 per cent.
Almost 31,000 test specimens are still under investigation.
Provincial tests still remain under the province’s target of testing 50,000 specimens, even though Ontario labs now say they can process that many tests despite some challenges with transporting tests to where they need to be.
People between 20 and 39 years old continue to represent the majority of new cases as 364 people in this age group tested positive for the virus on Saturday. Meanwhile, 84 people who are 80 years old and over were also among the new infected cases.
There are now 6,821 active cases of the virus across the province, up from more than 5,800 a week ago.
To date, there have been more than 69,300 infections of the novel coronavirus in Ontario and over 59,400 recoveries.
A total of 3,086 Ontarians have died from the virus since late January. Of today’s new deaths, two were long-term care residents.
Meanwhile, the province’s health care system continues to tackle a heightened amount of patients admitted with the virus. There are currently 294 patients hospitalized with the virus in Ontario, up from 276 a day ago. Eighty-two patients are currently in an intensive care unit and of those 53 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.