Ontario reports nearly 2,300 new cases of novel coronavirus as it considers placing more regions under lockdown

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Ontario is reporting nearly 2,300 new cases of COVID-19 ahead of the Ford government announcement that could see new restrictions introduced in some areas.

The health ministry said there were 2,290 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus confirmed on Thursday as well as 40 more deaths. This is down from the record 2,432 infections reported a day earlier, but still the second highest number we have seen in a single day.

The seven-day moving average also continues to rise and now stands at 2,089, up 11.6% from the same period last week and nearly 19% from two years ago. weeks.

The latest cases are undergoing 68,246 tests, which has helped bring the overall positivity rate down to 3.9%. This is the lowest figure since the weekend.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID patients in intensive care units has declined slightly from 263 to 261 in the past 24 hours, but still remains poised to eclipse the record set in the first wave of the pandemic in April (264).

This, it should be noted, came at a time when intensive care units across the province were under much less demand due to the cancellation of elective surgeries and province-wide procedures.

“I firmly believe that we now need to have new restrictions to even stem the tide of a very difficult situation in our hospital system and a very difficult situation in terms of trends and the number of people who get sick and die.” Toronto Mayor John Tory told CP24 on Friday morning ahead of the release of the latest figures. “I don’t want to speculate, but I want to express hope that the province does what I think it should do, which is to have a series of additional region-wide restrictions for a period of time. quieter period so that we can really enjoy. from this period of time quieter and have some kind of jerk in the system that prevents these numbers from growing as they have been to new highs every day. It is simply not acceptable. ”

Case growth begins to overtake the optimistic modeling scenario

Almost 60% of the most recent cases are in the three regions of the GTHA under lockdown, with Toronto reporting 691, Peel 361 and York 296.

But cases continue to rise in other areas as well.

Hamilton is now reporting 126 new cases and now has a weekly incidence rate per 100,000 population, which is actually worse than that of York Region, which was placed under lockdown on Monday.

Windsor-Essex is also reporting 207 new cases, a record high.

The province-wide numbers also appear to exceed the more optimistic scenario predicted in modeling released by the Ford government last week.

This modeling suggested that the number of daily cases would only reach 2,500 by mid-January assuming a 1% growth rate, but it warned that they could exceed 5,000 if cases were to continue growing at a rate by 3%.

“You can see with the numbers where we’re up to 2100, 2200 and now 2300 cases per day – it got us past 1% and we’re somewhere in the growth of 1% to 2% (range). Is this a continuing trend or is it one that can be mitigated? Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr David Williams said at a press conference Thursday. “When we start to see these cases, when you see that even though it starts off slowly, it can pick up pretty quickly and so we have to take it very seriously.”

The last confirmed cases on Friday pushed the total number of laboratory-confirmed infections province-wide since the start of the pandemic to 150,000 for the first time.

Almost 18,000 of these cases are still considered active.

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