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Ontario reports more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday

Last Updated Oct 25, 2020 at 3:42 pm EDT

A nurse uses a swab to perform a coronavirus test in Salt Lake City. On Friday, July 10, 2020, FILE PHOTO. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Rick Bowmer

Ontario reported 1,042 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday – the highest single-day total in the province since the pandemic started was declared back in March.

It’s the second straight day the province has set a new benchmark, having reported 978 new infections on Saturday.

The rolling seven-day average has jumped to 857 from 747 just a week ago as the total number of cases in Ontario surges past 70,000.

“While today’s data is concerning, the increase in cases may be the result of Thanksgiving gatherings,” said a Ministry of Health spokesperson. “We will continue to monitor the situation and take swift action as needed to limit the transmission of COVID-19, keep our schools and economy open, and protect our most vulnerable.”

Toronto remains the hotspot of the province with 309 cases, Peel Region is next with 289, followed by York Region with 117, and Ottawa with 80.

Toronto’s medical officer of health says the current levels of infection are the reason why she is urging people to limit contact as much as possible to people they live with.

“The virus spreads from person to person.  It needs us.  If we limit our exposure to people, we limit the virus’s ability to spread,” says Dr. Eileen De Villa.  “It is still early days since the recent imposition of some limits on activities. It will take some more time to assess the success of these actions.  In the meantime, I cannot stress enough how much rests on the decisions we make as individuals.”  

“We did this before.  We forced back the rise in infections last spring. If we limit our contact, keep our distance, and wear our masks, we will contribute significantly to the ability to limit virus spread and that is the most important thing of all,” she added.

Durham region reported 52 new cases, up one from the previous day, while Halton saw an increase of 10 new cases to 31. The province is contemplating whether or not to move those regions into a modified Stage 2 as well, despite objections from some politicians in Halton.

Provincial health officials say they processed 38,769 tests in the last 24-hour period, raising the positivity rate up to 2.7 per cent from 2.2 per cent the day before.

Another seven deaths were recorded, bringing the provincial total up to 3,093.

The number of people hospitalized was reported at 278, however the province noted that approximately 40 hospitals did not submit data and that the total number is actually higher. Seventy-nine patients are currently in ICU with the number of those on ventilators increasing to 54.

On the same day of Ontario’s record total, Quebec eclipsed a new milestone with more than 100,000 coronavirus cases.

The province registered 879 new cases Sunday, bringing its total to 100,114 infections since the pandemic began.

Quebec has been hard hit by the virus, recording nearly half of all the COVID-19 cases in Canada to date.