Ontario reports more than 200 new COVID cases for third straight day

Canada's chief public health officer Theresa Tam, meanwhile, is warning of "exponential epidemic growth" of the virus nationwide


The province is reporting 204 new cases of COVID-19 today. Some 64 per cent of the new cases are among people under 40 years of age. Sixty-three of the cases are in Toronto with 47 in Ottawa and 35 in Peel region.

It’s the third straight day that more than 200 new cases have been reported in the province.

However, the number of people being hospitalized for the virus and in intensive care units has been on a slight decline this month. There are 43 people hospitalized with the virus. There were 65 people hospitalized with the virus at the beginning of the month. Twelve of the current cases are in ICU. That number has hovered in the low teens this month. It never reaching above 30 in August after reaching 264 in early April.

A total of 2,814 people have died from the virus. The number of people dying from the virus has remained steady throughout August and September. There have been no more than a handful of deaths per day throughout August and September.

Canada’s chief public health officer Theresa Tam, however, continues to raise concerns about the steady increase in average daily case counts throughout the country. The rate of those testing positive for the virus is back over 1 per cent.

An average of more than 630 cases was reported daily over the past week in Canada. That’s an increase of 20 per cent over the previous week. And more than 65 per cent higher compared to four weeks ago. The biggest increases have been in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec.

Why that’s a concern: increasing daily case counts, says Tam, “signify heightened disease activity that pose a risk for accelerated or exponential epidemic growth to occur.”

That exponential growth “can be sparked by super-spreading events,” says Tam, who notes that there have been a number of reports this week of gatherings where social distancing requirements have not been followed.

“One infected person with even mild symptoms can start a chain reaction of COVID-19 exposures and infections.”

Tam says that “Canadians will need to be even more vigilant about following public health guidance, with the arrival of colder weather and as activities shift indoors.”

She says that “indoor gatherings with extended family and friends, may not be right for every Canadian or every family.”

The Ontario Hospital Association also warned in a statement today that Ontario is “losing ground” in the fight against COVID-19. The statement signed by OHA president Anthony Dale says “fatigue around public health protocols and restrictions” is becoming more of a reality.

The statement “implores” Ontarians to abide by COVID protocols.

It notes that “for months, Ontario’s hospital workers have worked selflessly to fight COVID-19.”

And that “thousands of people were denied access to hospital care when elective procedures were shut down in March.

“Let’s not allow their sacrifices to be wasted or ask them to work again under extraordinarily demanding conditions.”

“If current trends continue to accelerate,” the statement goes on to say, “economic restrictions may tighten once more, and the school year for our children will be in jeopardy.”

@nowtoronto

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