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Ontario tops 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for 8th straight day

Last Updated Dec 22, 2020 at 11:41 pm EST

Ontario is reporting more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the eighth straight day, as the province gears up for a lockdown later this week on Boxing Day.

Provincial health officials confirmed 2,202 new cases on Tuesday, a rise from the 2,123 cases reported the previous day.

Most of the new cases are in Toronto (636), followed by Peel Region (504), and York Region (218).

An additional 21 people have died as a result of the virus, bringing the provincial total to 4,188 — a majority of the deaths (2,592) have been people living in long-term care.

The number of people hospitalized due to the virus has climbed to 1,005 while the number of patients in the ICU has risen to 273.

The province said 45,265 tests were processed in the last 24-hour period but there remains a backlog of 47,872.

RELATED: Ontario-wide lockdown will start Boxing Day, virtual schooling details released

Toronto and Peel went into the grey-lockdown zone on Nov. 23, while York went into lockdown on Dec. 14. Hamilton moved into lockdown on Monday.

The provincewide lockdown, which will restrict non-essential retail and prohibit indoor dining, starts at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and will last until Jan. 9 for northern Ontario and Jan. 23 for southern Ontario.

The lockdown means no indoor organized public events or social gatherings, except with members of the same household. Weddings, funerals and other religious services can only have 10 people regardless if they are indoor or outdoor.

As for education across the province, both publicly-funded and private schools will move to remote learning heading into the new year.