Ontario hit a record high number of COVID-19 cases – 2553 reported on Tuesday – as pre-Christmas shopping was partly responsible for the surge in cases in Toronto.
“Ontario is reporting the highest number of new daily cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the province’s deputy chief medical officer, from Queen’s Park on Tuesday.
The 2,553 cases, she added, were accompanied by a “record total positivity rate of 9.7%, after the high rate (Monday) of 8.6%”.
She said the figures released Tuesday “would not relate to the Christmas holidays; it is too early for us to see the outcome of any meetings that might have taken place. But what we’ve learned from our colleagues at Toronto Public Health is that the increase in their daily count can be, in part, attributed to pre-Christmas shopping trips, often group shopping trips.
Toronto has reported a sharp increase in cases: 895, up from 412 on December 28 and 572 on December 27, and Yaffe said it remains to be seen whether this is a trend or an anomaly.
A province-wide lockdown went into effect on Boxing Day, Premier Doug Ford said: “This difficult action is undoubtedly necessary to save lives and prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed within weeks. to come up.
The move put in place a number of restrictions already in place in Toronto, Peel, York, Hamilton and Windsor, including a ban on eating inside and out, as well as limiting sales activities in the city. detail.
“Make no mistake about it, thousands of lives are at stake right now,” Ford said ahead of Christmas. “If we don’t act now, the consequences could be catastrophic… Health officials tell us that province-wide action is needed if we are to break these trends.
The lockdown will last until Jan. 9 across the province, but will extend until Jan. 23 for southern Ontario, where the number continues to climb.
The province’s previous record for COVID-19 was December 24, with 2,447 recorded cases.
“In fact, with the exception of (Monday), Ontario has recorded over 2,000 cases per day since Dec. 15, with an average of 32 deaths per day,” Yaffe also said, with hospitalizations and also high intensive care unit admissions.
“We can’t forget that (the data) represents people – people who have been affected by the virus and in too many cases have lost their lives,” Yaffe said. “So while I understand that the foreclosure measures that went into effect on December 26 are not what we want to experience right now, it is what we need to do, what we need to do, to slow down the transmission of this infection. ”
There are now three confirmed cases of a new variant of COVID-19 from the UK here in Ontario, Yaffe said, with a person in Ottawa who recently traveled from the UK, and two cases in Durham linked to a contact with someone who had also been there.
“The discovery of this strain underscores the importance for travelers to maintain their 14-day quarantine and a reminder to everyone that the public health measures in place protect against this variant.”
She urged Ontarians to stay home on New Years Eve to help stop the spread of COVID.
“As we look to Thursday night and the promise of a new year – a new year with more and more people vaccinated against COVID-19 – remember we are not on the other side of the mountain just yet. She said. “We still have a few kilometers to climb before we can descend safely on the other side.
“Please celebrate this New Year with all the optimism and hope it deserves, but do so with the utmost care.”