Ontario has set a single-day high when it comes to COVID-19 cases, confirming 4,456 new infections on Sunday as the number of patients in intensive care surpasses 600.
The total eclipses the previous high set back on January 8 of 4,249, however that number included 450 backlogged cases not previously recorded.
It’s the second time in the past three days more than 4,000 new cases have been recorded, pushing the seven-day rolling average to 3,572. A week ago, it was 2,637 and two weeks ago the average daily count was just over 2,000.
Since the Ford government applied the ’emergency brake’ back on April 3, the province has added just over 31,000 new cases to its COVID-19 tally – more than half of those new infections coming since stay-at-home orders were issued last Thursday.
Almost 60 per cent of the new cases are in the GTA with Toronto confirming 1,353 new infections – just shy of their single-day high set back in early January. Peel Region reported a single-day record of 860 new cases while York confirmed 444 cases.
Of the new cases reported Sunday, 1,176 are variants of concern – the majority of which is the variant first confirmed in the UK. Over the past five days, almost half of all new cases are variants of concern.
The number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs across the province now sits at 605. One week ago, there were 476 people in ICU. The Ontario Hospital Association said there had been 61 new admissions on Saturday and that 50 per cent of ICU beds in the Central Region are currently occupied by COVID-19 patients. According to provincial health officials, there are 1,513 COVID-19 patients in hospital however, as is the case on weekends, many hospitals do not report their case totals.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, says intensive care admissions across the country increased by 23 per cent over the last seven days compared to the week before, which is putting strain on the health system.
She says COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are increasingly impacting younger people and says there’s been a jump in the number of hospitalizations among those 40 to 59 years old.
On Friday, the province issued emergency orders enabling hospitals to transfer patients without their consent to other facilities across Ontario in order to deal with the surge in ICU cases.
Another 21 people have died as a result of the virus – the first time more than 20 new deaths have been reported since April 2. It brings the provincial tally up to 7,552.
The province says it administered almost 95,000 COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday, the first time in five days doses fell below 100,000. Health officials say more than 3.1 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to date with 333,150 having been fully vaccinated.
Provincial officials say 56,378 tests were processed over the last 24 hours, with the positivity rate climbing to 7.7 per cent.