Toronto's top doctor says cases may have 'plateaued' in city, even as province-wide seven-day average continues to rise
Published Monday, November 2, 2020 10:19AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 3, 2020 12:20PM EST
Toronto’s top public health official says that new cases of COVID-19 in the city may have finally plateaued, even as Ontario’s seven-day average continues to rise.
Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa made the comment to reporters during a briefing on Monday afternoon.
“The reported case rate seems to have plateaued at just above 300 new cases a day which is further supported by the reproductive number, which is at one. While this is not where I would like our numbers to be the situation is not escalating,” she said.
Toronto seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases now stands at 329, up only slightly from this point last week when it was 316.
Meanwhile, the provincial numbers continue to increase at a steady albeit slower rate.
On Monday morning, the Ministry of Health reported 948 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths.
There were 315 new cases in Toronto, 269 in Peel, 81 in York Region, 32 in Durham Region and 19 in Halton.
Ontario reported 977 new infections on Sunday, 1,015 cases on Saturday and 896 on Friday.
The seven-day rolling average now stands at 919 compared to 878 a week ago.
Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Issac Bogoch said that although daily case counts are still high, transmission of the virus seems to be easing after restrictions were placed on COVID-19 hot spots last month.
“While things aren’t looking amazing with 800 to 1,000 new cases a day they don’t seem to be getting worse which basically tells us that the modified Stage 2 approach that’s been taken on several places- Toronto, Peel, York, Ottawa- is starting to show early signs of success,” Bogoch told CP24 Monday morning.
“I think it’s going to take a little bit longer if we want to actually see a decline in cases,” he added.
Toronto, Ottawa and Peel entered a modified Stage 2 on Oct. 10 for at least 28 days, resulting in the closure of gyms, theatres, casinos and indoor dining.
York Region also reverted to Stage 2 on Oct. 19 after seeing a steady rise in cases.
Most of the new cases in the province (382) are among people between the ages of 20 and 39. Meanwhile, people 80 years old and over accounted for the least amount of new cases (35) compared to 88 new infections a day ago.
Elliott said there are 826 more resolved cases in Ontario bringing the total amount of active cases to 8,096.
Testing levels continue to be well under the province’s target of 50,000 tests a day as 27,908 tests were completed by provincial labs in the last 24 hours.
On Sunday, over 37,100 tests were completed.
The latest numbers bring the province’s positivity rate to four per cent.
"That is the highest positivity rate we've seen in quite a time quite some time butt hile the daily case counts remain high, they are not increasing at the rate that was initially predicted by our modeling," Ontario's Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said during a briefing on Monday afternoon.
Hospitalizations continue to rise
To date, there have been over 77,600 cases of the virus in Ontario since late January and 66,407 recoveries. The virus death toll in the province now stands at 3,152.
Of the new deaths recorded today, three were long-term care home patients.
There are currently 78 long-term care homes in Ontario with a COVID-19 outbreak, up from 74 a day ago.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to grow as the province battles a second wave of the virus.
On Monday, the province said at least 328 people were hospitalized with the virus but that number could be higher as at least 40 hospitals did not submit data for Oct. 31. According to data from local public health units and hospitals, there are at least 360 people currently hospitalized with the virus.
The Ministry of Health said 350 patients were in hospital with the virus on Sunday but stated that it was missing data from at least 40 hospitals that day as well.
Bogoch said the province’s healthcare system is currently not overwhelmed but the trend is going in the “wrong direction.”
“We know that our hospital system is not really, at this point in time, going to be overwhelmed with COVID-19, but we are see a growing trend of people coming to hospital with this infection,” he said. “A growing trend of people in the ICU with this infection especially when we look back to July and August when we had very few people hospitalized. So those arrows are pointing in the wrong direction.”
There are currently 75 patients in intensive care across Ontario, up from 72 on Sunday.
Of those patients, 45 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.