Ontario records more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 for third straight day

A laboratory technical assistant at LifeLabs, handles a specimen to be tested for COVID-19 after scanning its barcode upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

For the third consecutive day, health officials confirmed more than 400 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.

The province recorded 412 new cases and 27 more deaths related to the novel coronavirus Saturday morning, marking a 1.7 per cent increase over the day prior.

The number of new cases is down slightly over Friday’s report when the province confirmed 441 new infections — the highest daily increase in new cases since May 8 — a jump Ontario Premier Doug Ford called "concerning.”

Earlier this week, the government made its most ambitious step towards restarting the provincial economy yet with the reopening of retail stores with a street-level entrance, though officials  have not linked the increase to the loosening of public health restrictions.

As it stands, there are 25,040 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, including 2,048 deaths. The number of resolved COVID-19 cases continues to outweigh active cases in the province at 19,146 recoveries or 76.5 per cent.

And while the five-day rolling average of new cases has steadily increased since May 12, the number of tests performed in Ontario has fallen short of its testing capacity for the sixth straight day.

According to the Ministry of Health, the province performed 11,028 in the last 24 hour period, a far cry from the government’s goal to complete tests 16,000 daily. The province has previously said that it has the capacity to conduct at least 20,000 tests a day.

Ford has expressed frustration with the shortfall, saying he would be "like an 800-pound gorilla on their backs” if testing numbers continue to fall below what is expected.

To date, the province has completed 599,986 tests for COVID-19. However, this number does not represent the total number of people tested, but rather the total number of tests completed. This means that one person may have been tested several times.

Another 5,871 tests are currently under investigation.

Despite the relatively low number of daily tests, the province says it will begin testing asymptomatic front-line health-care workers this weekend as well as a second round of testing in long-term care homes, which have been hit especially hard by the virus.

Of all the deaths recorded in the province, at least 1,282 of the deceased (62.6 per cent) were residents at a long-term care facility.

The Ministry of Long-Term Care says that there are 165 confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at those facilities. As a result, 4,784 residents and 1,650 staff members have tested positive for the virus, according to the province's integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS)

According to Saturday’s epidemiologic summary, there have been 1,428 deaths in people over the age of 80 and 530 deaths in people between the ages of 60 and 79.

Since late-January, the province has recorded 82 deaths in people between the ages of 40 and 59, and eight deaths in people ages 20 to 39.

There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger, though there are 779 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in that age group.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 sits at 912, a decrease of 49 patients in the last 24 hours.

Of those 912 hospitalized, 147 patients are being treated in an intensive care unit, 119 of which are breathing with the assistance of ventilator. 

Quick facts on all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario:

  • 42.7 per cent of all cases in the province are male and 56.8 per cent are female – 216 cases did not specify gender
  • 41.5 per cent of all cases are 60 years of age or older – 17 cases did not specify their age
  • 3.1 per cent of all cases are 19 years of age or younger
  • 24.8 per cent of all cases are between the ages of 20 and 39
  • 30.5 per cent of all cases are between the ages of 40 and 59
  • 20.8 per cent of all cases are between the ages of 60 and 79
  • 20.7 per cent of all cases are 80 years of age or older
  • Public health units in the Greater Toronto Area account for 64.3 per cent of all cases
  • 5.9 per cent of all cases had travelled in the 14 days prior to becoming ill
  • 61.1 per cent of all cases had close contact with a previously confirmed case or are linked to a local outbreak
  • 12.6 per cent of all patients had community exposure
  • 20.4 per cent of all patients had exposure information listed as pending