Ontario reports record 18,000-plus new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

A record 18,000-plus new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ontario on Saturday.

While the Ministry of Health is not reporting data due to the January 1 holiday, Public Health Ontario confirms 18,445 new cases of COVID-19.
That surpasses the previous high of 16,713 reported on Friday.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases has now surpassed 12,000 – an increase of almost 50 per cent from a week ago.

However, PHO note that “case counts in this report are an underestimate of the true number of individuals with COVID-19 in Ontario.” This is due to testing limits at hospitals and appointment centres.

On Thursday, the province changed its testing guidelines meaning non-vulnerable individuals who test positive using a rapid antigen test or are experiencing mild symptoms of the virus will no longer be required to get confirmation via a PCR or molecular test.

Toronto is responsible for a quarter of the new cases with 4,721 new infections reported while both York and Peel regions also set new daily case count records.

An additional 12 Ontarians have died as a result of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total up to 10,206.

There are 168 current outbreaks in long-term care homes, an increase of 36 from the previous day, while there are 55 active outbreaks at retirement homes, an increase of 11.

Data on the number of hospitalizations, vaccination status of those in hospital as well as testing data and positivity rates were not made available. The province is set to provide updated reports on Tuesday.

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