The province is contending with a large backlog of test results
Ontario reported 538 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a slight dip from Wednesday’s count of 625 new cases.
The province detected 554 new cases on Tuesday and an all-time high of 700 on Monday.
“Locally, there are 229 new cases in Toronto with 101 in Peel, 66 in Ottawa and 43 in York Region. Sixty per cent of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40,” health minister Christine Elliott said on Twitter.
Toronto still accounts for almost half of all new cases daily.
Labs in the province completed nearly 40,000 tests, but the province is contending with a large testing backlog of more than 82,400 lab results.
“The specimens are only good for three days and then they spoil and people have to be retested,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Tuesday at a Queen’s Park press conference. “We understand how urgently this needs to be addressed.”
She added the government has reached out to universities that are “coming on board with significant lab capacity” so the tests can be processed in time.
Another 515 more cases resolved within the past 24 hours. Resolved cases have been steadily growing over the past few weeks, increasing from a mid-September average of around 200 new resolved cases per day to now over 500.
The province reported 162 hospitalizations, up 12 from Wednesday’s count of 150, and 36 patients in intensive care – up one from yesterday.
There have been three additional deaths in the past 24 hours.
To date, there have been 52,248 cases of COVID-19 in Ontario and 44,422 have been resolved. Of the new cases on Thursday, 14 were among long-term care residents, and six were among health care workers in the homes.
In response to the surge in cases, city council approved new restrictions for restaurants and bars. Proposed by Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, the new rules require establishments to limit capacity from 100 to 75 and capacity at individual tables from 10 to six.
The following regions in Ontario reported five or more COVID-19 cases:
Toronto = 229
Peel = 101
Ottawa = 66
York Region = 43
Simcoe Muskoka = 14
Durham Region = 14
Region of Waterloo = 13
City of Hamilton = 8
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 7
Niagara Region = 6
Brant County = 6
Middlesex-London = 5
This story has been updated.