Ontario's top public health official says numbers may be 'plateauing' as province reports 807 new cases
Published Tuesday, October 13, 2020 10:17AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 14, 2020 5:03AM EDT
The province is reporting 807 new cases of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Monday and 746 new cases today, with Monday's count marking the third-highest count of cases since the pandemic began.
Officials also confirmed 12 new deaths over the past two days, including three on Monday and nine on Tuesday.
"Combined over the same two days, there are 1,292 more resolved cases with over 67,700 tests completed," Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter. "Locally, there are 311 new cases in Toronto, 135 in Peel and 116 in Ottawa today."
Ontario reported 649 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, 809 on Saturday and a record-high of 939 on Friday.
“It looks we are now plateauing around the low or mid 700s with some blips up and down. That may be encouraging,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams told reporters on Tuesday afternoon, noting that it is likely still too early to say that for sure.
There are now 5,946 active cases of novel coronavirus infection in the province, up from 5,469 one week ago.
Tuesday's deaths were the highest amount recorded in a single day since July 17 when nine deaths were recorded, bringing the total to 3,017 since early March.
Of the 12 deaths reported in the past 48 hours, seven were residents of the long-term care system.
Epidemiologist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24 it will likely be more than a week before new restrictions imposed in COVID-19 hotspots starting Saturday will start to have an impact.
"It's going to take two weeks or so before we see any major changes in cases per day."
Over the past two days, Toronto has reported 614 new COVID-19 cases, Peel reported 294, York reported 98, Halton reported 49 and Durham reported 25.
Provincial labs processed 36,473 specimens on Monday and 31,233 on Tuesday.
The results generated a positivity rate of 2.21 per cent on Monday and 2.39 per cent on Tuesday, up from less than 1 per cent on most days in mid-August.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations continue to increase.
A count of data from local public health units found at least 263 people are being treated for COVID-19 symptoms in hospitals across the province, up from 192 one week ago.
Of those, at least 60 are in intensive care and 34 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
Officials said last week Ontario hospitals will likely be treating at least 150 people in intensive care by early November if case growth continues at its current rate.
Epidemiologist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy told CP24 there is way for Ontario to keep the spread minimal in long-term care homes and prevent hospitals from overflowing, but it will take a great collective effort to follow public health guidelines.
"It's a monumental task but it is achievable but it requires everyone remind themselves of the accountability that they share across the entire community," he said. "This is something that is going to affect us all and if our healthcare system is pushed to the brink of collapse it's going to spell bad news on every front across the board."