Ontario logs more than 3,100 new COVID-19 cases, confirms 51 more deaths as hospitalizations hit record high

TORONTO — Ontario recorded more than 3,100 new COVID-19 cases for the fourth time this week and confirmed 51 more deaths linked to the disease as hospitalizations hit a record high.

On Tuesday, provincial health officials logged 3,128 new infections of the novel coronavirus.

The only other times the province’s daily COVID-19 case count climbed above the 3,000 mark was when 3,270 cases were recorded on Monday, a record-breaking 3,363 cases were recorded on Saturday and 3,328 cases were recorded on Thursday.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,646, up from 2,236 one week ago.

There were 35,152 COVID-19 tests completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period.

The province’s test positivity rate now stands at about 9.4 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health, which is the second highest test positivity rate ever reported in Ontario. A test positivity rate of 9.7 per cent was seen on Monday and one week ago.

Of the new patients logged on Tuesday, 778 are in Toronto, 614 are in Peel Region, 213 are in York Region, 172 are in Durham Region, 151 are in Middlesex-London, 126 are in Ottawa, 142 are in Windsor-Essex, 128 are in Halton Region, 101 are in Niagara Region, 129 are in Waterloo Region, and 151 are in Hamilton.

Other areas that recorded more than 50 cases of the disease on Tuesday include Simcoe Muskoka (72) and Lambton (62).

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Tuesday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 197,360, including deaths and recoveries.

With the 51 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Tuesday, the province’s death toll is now 4,730. Of the deaths confirmed Tuesday, 22 were residents of long-term care homes.

Health officials deemed 2,015 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 166,790.

There are currently 25,840 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

According to the province, there are at least 1,347 patients infected with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, which is the highest occupancy recorded since the pandemic began.

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Of those patients, 352 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 245 of those 352 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

At this time last week there were at least 864 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals, the province said. Of those patients, 304 were in the ICU and 207 of those 304 patients were on a ventilator.

The province has said that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, medical care not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.

In an effort to help curb the spread of the disease, the provincial government ordered an Ontario-wide lockdown on Dec. 26. The lockdown measures are scheduled to last until Jan. 23 in the southern parts of the province (south of Sudbury) and until Jan. 9 in the northern parts.

Thus far, 50,030 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 7,607 doses administered in the previous day. The vaccine requires two doses. In Ontario, 117 total vaccinations have been completed as of Tuesday.

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