Ontario recorded its highest daily number of COVID-19 infections since the end of June with 203 new cases due to new outbreaks in Ottawa, Peel and Windsor-Essex.
“Today’s increase is concerning,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Tuesday, a day after new cases rose by 135.
There have been 43 new cases in Ottawa, more than double the 20 reported on Monday and bringing the total for the past few days to around 100.
Ontario Assistant Physician Dr. Barbara Yaffe attributed the “rise” in Ottawa primarily to young adults in their twenties who had attended private parties.
“This is a trend that we have seen in recent weeks,” she told reporters. “It’s easy for people to forget that we are still in a pandemic.”
There were also 57 new cases in Peel Region, up from 35 reported on Monday, and 24 more in Windsor-Essex, an increase of three from the previous day following three new hospitalizations of people in Leamington with COVID -19, including two in serious illness.
Peel, Windsor-Essex and Toronto have been held back from the third leg of reopens in other regions, including Halton, Durham, York, Hamilton and Niagara on Friday, where bars and restaurants will be allowed to resume service at the interior.
Elliott cautioned that the increase to more than 200 cases – a level that has not been consistently seen since mid-June, when the daily number of cases started to stay below that level on all occasions except three – is only a day of data.
“If you consider the age of new cases today, 116 of them, or 57%, are 39 years old or younger.”
Ontario last recorded more than 200 confirmed cases on June 29, while 257 were reported by the province.
The minister urged people to continue following public health guidelines to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, which has seen a dangerous resurgence in many U.S. states.
“Maintain a single social circle of 10 people, physically move anyone outside of it, and wear a face mask when that is a challenge,” Elliott said.
Of Ontario’s 34 regional public health units, 13 reported no new cases, down from 18 the previous day.
The health ministry has released figures showing the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 has increased from five to 120, including 36 in intensive care and 23 of them on ventilators.
Four other nursing home workers have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 2,484. No new cases have been reported among nursing home residents.
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There have been 1,404 active cases of the virus in the province, including 203 new infections. The health ministry said 33,605 cases are considered resolved.
One new death has been reported.