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Ontario reports 826 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 more deaths on Friday

Last Updated Oct 23, 2020 at 10:47 am EST

In this March 11, 2020, file photo, a technician prepares COVID-19 coronavirus patient samples for testing. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/John Minchillo

For the third time in the last four days, Ontario is reporting more than 800 new daily cases of COVID-19.

Provincial health officials confirmed 826 new cases on Friday, a slight decrease in the 841 cases recorded Thursday.

It is also the third highest single-day total since the pandemic started. The seven day rolling average has climbed to 777 from 745.

Toronto remains the hotspot of the province with 292 cases, Peel Region is next with 186, followed by Ottawa with 87, and York Region with 72.

The positivity rate remained at 2.1 per cent after provincial officials say they processed 40,019 tests in the last 24 hour period.

It marked the first time since Sunday that testing totals climbed past 40,000 for the week.

For the third straight day, nine more deaths were recorded to bring the provincial total to 3,080.

Hospitalizations continued to climb, up to 276 after starting the week at 252. The number of patients in the ICU and on ventilators remained relatively unchanged.

The province also reported another 72 new cases of COVID-19 in publicly-funded Ontario schools on Friday, 39 of them among students. A total of 514 out of 4,828 schools have now reported at least one case of the virus with five schools forced to close after an outbreak was declared.