Record number of new coronavirus cases reported in Ontario as lockdowns begin in Toronto, Peel

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Ontario’s top public health official said he would be ‘surprised’ if numbers in Toronto and Peel improve enough over the next 28 days to justify removing regions from lockdown category under the province’s multi-level framework for COVID-19 restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr David Williams made the comment in a Monday afternoon briefing, hours after the Department of Health reported a record 1,589 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus , while we were all like 19 other deaths.

“We’d be surprised to see that we’re out in four weeks, but it’s a surprise that I would be happy to be caught off guard. But I agree that it is apparently unlikely at this point in time that we are logical about it, ”he said.

The 1,589 new cases confirmed on Monday were a new high for a single 24-hour period, barely exceeding the previous high of 1,588 reported on Saturday. It is also a larger increase from the 1,487 new cases reported last Monday.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average of new cases has risen again and now stands at 1,429. However, that number is still down from this point last week, when it was 1,443. .

Speaking to reporters, Williams said there were “encouraging” signs regarding the numbers, particularly in Toronto, which he said “appears to be holding the line for now.”

The problem, he said, is that the numbers “always go the wrong way.”

“It’s encouraging that we are not increasing as quickly as the models said, but at the same time we still have high numbers,” he said.

Dive into the tests

The latest positive cases reported on Monday came from just 37,471 tests, repeating a trend that typically sees the province reporting fewer results at the start of the week due to a drop in testing over the weekend.

The percentage of positivity in the last 24 hours was 4.6%. This is the highest figure since last Tuesday.

The vast majority of new cases continue to be clustered in Peel (535 cases), Toronto (336 new cases) and York (205 new cases), with these three regions accounting for more than two-thirds of all new infections.

But transmission of the virus appears to be accelerating in communities across Ontario, officials have warned.

On Monday, 83 new cases were reported in Waterloo, as the region officially entered the red zone of Ontario’s COVID-19 framework. There were also 41 new cases in Durham, 53 in Halton and 61 in Hamilton.

“Toronto and Peel are about 59% (of new cases), which is down from what was once in the past where if you took Toronto and Peel and combined with York you would be closer to 75 or 80% . cases, ”Williams said. “While this is reassuring in a way, it does mean that we have a lot more cases in other areas.”

Modeling had warned of a higher number of cases now

Modeling released earlier this month warned that Ontario could see between 2,000 and 2,500 cases per day at this point en route to 3,500 to 6,500 cases per day in mid-December, but it appears that we’ve slowed that down a bit.

However, there are still some alarming indicators that point to difficult days on the horizon.

There are now 156 COVID-19 patients treated in the intensive care unit and some hospitals have already had to cancel some surgeries and elective procedures to cope with the influx.

Deaths are also steadily increasing after falling behind the increasing number of cases for months.

In the past seven days, an average of 19 COVID patients have died each day, up slightly from last week when the seven-day average was 18.

If there is any reason to be optimistic, it comes in the form of encouraging news on the vaccine development front.

On Monday morning, AstraZeneca reported that its vaccine appeared to be up to 90% effective in late stage trials. Moderna Inc. and Pfizer have also reported that their vaccines are over 90% effective, with the latter recently applying for emergency use authorization from US authorities.

“With these vaccine studies, it’s great news and it’s always okay to stop along the way to smell the roses and throw a little party, but we have to stay the course,” the CP24 told CP24. Dr Issac Bogoch, specialist in infectious diseases Monday, before the publication of the latest figures. “Our masks, our distances, our hand disinfection, to be vaccinated against the flu. Just keep adhering to these public health measures and it is clear that things are getting better and better, but we are not there yet. So just double down, hold the fortress, keep practicing our public health measures and you’ll be fine. We really will.

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