Chris Fox, CP24.com
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 10:33 a.m. EDT
Last updated Wednesday, April 8, 2020 11:31 a.m. EDT
Ontario has confirmed 550 new cases of COVID-19, the largest day-to-day increase. The dramatic increase in cases comes after the number of new cases confirmed each day by the Ministry of Health appeared to stabilize after a record 462 was reported on April 3. The increase in cases today has also been accompanied by an increase in deaths, with the province confirming an additional 21 deaths among those who contracted the virus, bringing the total to 174. While the number of people hospitalized for the virus has actually declined slightly in these latest numbers (from 614 to 605), there are 13 more people in intensive care units (246) than there were yesterday and eight more people on fans (195). The backlog of pending tests, on the other hand, appears to be increasing again after the province has practically eliminated them in recent days. At one point, that number approached 11,000, but authorities were able to lower it to 329 before it started to increase steadily this week. It now stands at 1,102. The number of tests performed daily is also a concern. Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters on Tuesday that the province has the capacity to run about 14,000 tests a day, but in reality it does nothing like it. In fact, in the past 24 hours, the province has only tested 3,237 people. This is an increase from the 2,568 people tested in the past 24 hours, but this translates into a test rate that is still lagging behind many other provinces. Quebec, for example, has already tested more than 100,000 people despite half the population of Ontario. "We have gotten rid of the backlog, we have increased our testing capacity and we are moving forward especially in areas where we really need to build this iron ring to protect the most vulnerable," said Elliott Tuesday, noting that the province is working to speed up testing. First death in a person under 40 Data released by the province on Wednesday includes seven new deaths among residents of long-term care homes, bringing the total number of deaths among residents of these facilities to 76. The data also suggests that one of the new deaths attributed to the virus occurred in a person aged 20 to 39, marking the youngest person to die from the virus in the province to date. To date, almost two-thirds of all deaths (104) have occurred in people 80 years of age or older, while another 60 have occurred in people aged 60 to 79 and nine have occurred in people aged 40 to 59. There are now 5,276 confirmed cases of the virus across the province, including recoveries and deaths. This number increased 120% from the same period last week, when the province had 2,392 confirmed cases. Over 2,000 Ontarians have fully recovered from the virus, which accounts for about 39% of infections in Ontario since the start of the epidemic in late January. Here are some of the other data highlights:
There are now 67 new confirmed cases among healthcare workers, bringing the total to date to 580 (11% of all cases).
Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 51.8% of all cases.
Seven other outbreaks were reported in long-term care homes. There are now 58 outbreaks in Ontario.
1,027 cases result from community transmission (19.5%), but this information remains pending in almost half of the cases (47%).