Ontario’s daily COVID-19 cases top 4,000-mark, 2nd most ever reported

By News staff

Ontario reported more than 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday — the second most ever reported and the highest it has been since early January.

Health officials said there were 4,227 new cases, a sharp rise of more than 900 cases from the 3,295 recorded on Thursday.

Friday’s case count was the highest since Jan. 8 when 4,249 were reported, but that included 450 backlogged cases from Toronto Public Health. The previous daily high was 3,945 cases on Jan. 10.

Another 18 people have died as a result of the virus in the province, raising the death toll to 7,512.

Toronto reported 1,218 new infections — the second time in three days that the case count has surpassed 1,000. New daily highs were reported in both Peel and York regions. Peel confirmed 762 new cases — the highest since Jan. 2 — while York Region reported 532 new cases – the most since Jan. 7.

In fact, four of the five GTA public health units set new daily records with Durham (247) and Halton (174) joining Peel and York regions.

Forty-four per cent (1,863) of the new cases were variants of concern (VOC). The province has reported 11,701 total VOC cases with 11,492 being the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K.

Hospitalizations across the province have climbed to their highest level since the pandemic began with 1,492 COVID-19 patients. Of those, 552 have been admitted to ICU with 359 of them on ventilators — both totals eclipsed previous highs.

According to the Ontario Hospital Association, hospitals in the province have been directed to ramp down all elective surgeries and non-emergent activities effective April 12.

A record 1,300 schools, or almost 27 per cent of schools across the province, have reported a case COVID-19. More than 2,100 of the 2,618 individual cases in the last two weeks were student-related. While the province reported 69 schools have been closed due to COVID-19, a number of school boards across the province have dismissed classes recently as case counts in hotspot areas surge.

A total of 61,410 tests were completed in the previous 24 hour period — only the second time in the last eight days that more than 60,000 tests have been processed.

The province said it administered more than 105,000 vaccines on Thursday, bringing the total to just under three-million doses given to date. A total of 328,598 people across the province have been fully vaccinated.

One bright note is that 2,641 patients have recovered from the virus — the third straight day more than 2,000 recoveries have been confirmed and the highest total since the end of January.

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