Ontario reported 978 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, the most on a single day since the outbreak began in late January.
Saturday’s count surpasses the previous high of 939, which was reported on Oct. 9.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said the majority of the new cases are concentrated in Toronto, which once again led the way with 348. Another 170 cases were reported in Peel Region, followed by 141 in York Region and 89 in Ottawa.
A handful of other areas saw double-digit increases as well:
- Durham Region: 51.
- Eastern Ontario: 43.
- Simcoe Muskoka: 23.
- Halton Region: 21.
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 15.
- Waterloo Region: 14.
- Hamilton: 10.
- Niagara Region: 10.
The number of patients hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19 now sits at 294, an increase of 18 since Friday.
There are 82 people in intensive care units, an increase of four, and 53 people are on ventilators, an increase of six.
The province’s seven-day average of new daily cases has also broken a new record. As of Saturday, it sits at 803 — higher than any other day so far this year.
Ontario’s cumulative total of cases now sits at 69,331. Some 625 cases were marked as resolved in Saturday’s update.
Six more people have died of COVID-19 in Ontario. The provincial death toll now stands at 3,086.
Nearly 44,200 tests completed
Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed 44,151 novel coronavirus test samples since its last daily report.
While that figure marks the highest number of daily tests completed so far this week, it still falls short of Ontario’s goal of processing 50,000 tests per day by mid-October. The province also set a goal of processing 68,000 tests by mid-November.
Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti, an infectious diseases specialist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont., attributes that shortfall to Ontario’s tightened testing criteria and move to appointment-only testing.
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“This has caused a bit of problems because we’re getting people to make appointments, but there are some double bookings happening, people not showing up,” he told CBC News Network on Saturday.
“This has put a little bit of a wrench in plans.”
But Chakrabarti said despite those issues, he hopes testing will ramp up in the coming weeks.
“It’s important for us to have the right testing at the right time and not just the big numbers. Otherwise you start to get a picture that does not actually represent what’s happening on the ground,” he said.
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