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Ontario reports a drop in new COVID-19 cases

Last Updated Oct 1, 2020 at 12:41 pm EDT

Specimens to be tested for COVID-19 are seen at LifeLabs after being logged upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Ontario confirmed 538 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a drop from the 625 cases reported on Wednesday.

The province conducted 39,646 tests in the previous day, but the backlog grew to 82,473.

Most of the new cases are in Toronto (229) followed by Peel Region (101), Ottawa (66) and York Region (43).

In a tweet, Minister of Health Christine Elliott noted that 60 per cent of new cases are in people under the age of 40.

There are 515 more resolved cases today and three more people have died, raising the death toll to 2,851.

On Wednesday, the province released new modelling statistics that showed Ontario could be seeing upwards of 1,000 new cases a day by the first half of October.

Health officials said cases are currently doubling every 10 to 12 days and Intensive Care Unit occupancy, which is currently steady, could spike in the coming weeks.

“The trends are deeply concerning,” Premier Doug Ford said after seeing the projections.

Wednesday’s modelling didn’t take into account new measures introduced to limit hours of operation at bars and restaurants, and the closure of strip clubs.

In Toronto, city council approved recommendations on Wednesday from Toronto’s medical officer of health that add new restrictions at bars and restaurants.

They include limiting the number of people at a table to six, and lowering the number of people allowed in bar or restaurant from 100 to 75.