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Ontario sees number of new COVID-19 cases rise for second day in a row, 68 more deaths reported
Published Wednesday, May 6, 2020 10:30AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 6, 2020 8:08PM EDT
For the second consecutive day, Ontario has seen a rise in the number of new cases of COVID-19.
The province’s report released Wednesday confirms that there were 412 new cases of the virus yesterday, up from 387 on Monday and 370 on Sunday.
While Ontario has seen slight increases in the number of new cases, the numbers over the past few days are notably lower than the record 640 reported on April 25.
“It is very slowly coming down…Those are very positive signs,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are in a very slow plateau and we hope to get even further progression.”
The total number of lab-confirmed cases in the province now sits at 18,722, including deaths and recoveries.
According to the province’s latest data, 13,222 cases are now considered to be resolved.
While the number of recoveries continues to climb, so too does the number of deaths.
Ontario reported an additional 68 virus-related deaths today, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 1,429.
The vast majority of deaths, approximately three-quarters, involve residents of long-term care homes.
People over the age of 60 account for 43.8 per cent of all cases and only 70 of the virus-related deaths in the province involve people under 60.
One thousand of the 1,400 deaths are people over the age of 80.
The province says there are currently 223 outbreaks in long-term care facilities, an increase of five since Tuesday’s report.
The number of people hospitalized with the virus dropped slightly to 1,032 on Tuesday and there are also fewer patients in intensive care (219). But the number of people on ventilators rose from 166 on Monday to 174 on Wednesday.
Over the past few days, the province has lagged in the number of tests conducted, processing just under 13,000 tests on Tuesday and a little more than 10,000 on Monday.
The backlog of tests waiting to be processed has also now grown to nearly 9,000.
This testing challenges come after the province conducted more than 17,000 tests on Saturday. The low testing numbers prompted Premier Doug Ford to lash out at some of the province's medical officers of health for not "performing."
"I'm disappointed in the chief medical officers in certain regions. I'm not going to name them. They know who they are," Ford said Tuesday. "Start picking up your socks and start doing testing. I don't know what the big problems is with testing. It is frustrating as anything."
Testing falls under provincial jurisdiction and is not a responsibility of local medical officers of health.
Ford's office later clarified that he was referring to a lag in testing at long-term care homes, where local health units have been asked to help test more broadly.
The province's chief medical officer of health told reporters Tuesday that some local public health units reported not being provided with adequate supplies for expanded testing over the weekend.
Speaking at his daily news conference at Queen's Park on Wednesday, Ford apologized to any local medical officers of health who took his comments "personally."
"I don't want to blame anyone," Ford said. "People expect me to push the system."
Ford said the province just wants to "work with" the local public health units to keep them on track.
"They do have a responsibility to coordinate the testing and maybe we will make it very clear when the province puts down a provincial order to get everyone tested, we mean it. Get everyone tested in long-term care," he said.
"It is not about going after someone personally but if they take it personal, then I apologize."
• Health care workers represent nearly 16 per cent of all cases (3,013)
• GTA public health units account for 60.6 per cent of all confirmed cases
• A little more than 12 per cent of all cases have resulted in hospitalizations
• Females make up a larger number of lab-confirmed confirmed cases (57.3 per cent) than males (41.8 per cent)
• Community transmission accounts for 36.3 per cent of all cases