Judi Rigotti pre-screens a student for her before class programming at Elizabeth B. Phin Public School in Pickering, Ont., Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

Health officials are reporting more than 600 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday morning as the province’s testing strategy shifts from walk-in appointments to strictly scheduled visits.

The 615 new cases reported Monday morning represent an increase over Sunday’s total when the province reported 566 new cases of the disease.

Five more deaths related to COVID-19 were recorded over the last 24-hour period as well as 541 more infections the province now considers to be resolved.

Monday's report brings the province’s COVID-19 case total to 54,814 -- including 2,980 deaths and 46,360 recoveries -- a 1.1 per cent increase over Sunday's total.

Right now, there are 5,474 activce cases of COVID-19 in the province. 

The new cases were reported as walk-ins at the province's 153 COVID-19 assessment centres were discontinued to make way for scheduled appointments.

Premier Doug Ford called the change in strategy "absolutely necessary" following weeks of long lines and a growing testing backlog.

READ MORE: New COVID-19 testing rules come into effect in Ontario. Here’s what you need to know.

The Ministry of Health's daily epidemiologic summary shows that 282 of the new cases were reported in people between the ages of 20 and 39. That age group leads the province in lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections at 19,298 cases. 

Another 166 cases were reported in people between the ages of 40 and 59.

Seventy-six cases were reported in people 19 years of age and younger and 70 cases were reported in people between the ages of 60 and 79.

Twenty new cases were reported in people 80 years of age and older.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new cases reported Monday are in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

Toronto accounts for the lion’s share of the cases with 289 new infections recorded. Peel Region logged another 88 cases and Ottawa added 81.

Public health units in York Region, Waterloo, Halton and Durham Region are also reporting new case numbers in the double digits.

Meanwhile, several regions are reporting fewer than five new cases of the disease. At least nine of the province’s 34 public health units are reporting zero new cases.

There are currently 176 patients in an Ontario hospital with COVID-19 symptoms, though approximately 35 hospitals did not report patient data over the weekend.

Of those 176 patients, 43 are being treated in an intensive care unit, 26 of which are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. 

Update on COVID-19 testing

Over the last 24-hour period the province completed 38,196 tests for COVID-19.

The province has processed more than 4.1 million tests for the disease since the start of the pandemic.

There are 68,006 tests currently under investigation.