Ontario surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 cases since beginning of pandemic as hospitalizations surge

TORONTO — The total tally of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario has now surpassed 200,000 as officials log more than 3,000 new infections for the fifth time since late December.

The province confirmed 3,266 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday and reported that 37 more people have died due to the disease.

Ontario doubled its total COVID-19 case count in just 47 days, underscoring the rapid spread of the virus during the second wave of the pandemic.

During the span of one month and 17 days, the province saw its numbers grow from 100,790 on Nov. 20 to 200,626 on Jan. 6.

It took the province 287 days – between Jan. 28, 2020 and Nov. 20, 2020 – to mark the first 100,000 cases of COVID-19, largely owing to the first wave lockdown successfully slowing the growth of the deadly disease.

The province also reported a record-breaking number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 on Wednesday. Health officials said that 1,463 people are seeking medical care in these facilities due to the disease.

Of those patients, at least 361 are in the intensive care unit, including 246 who are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

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

With the 37 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Wednesday, the province’s death toll now stands at 4,767. Of the new deaths confirmed, 20 were residents of long-term care homes.

The province also deemed 3,005 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 169,795.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Of the 3,266 cases reported on Wednesday, health officials say that 805 were in Toronto, 523 were in Peel Region and 349 were in York Region.

Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the triple digits, including Durham Region (145), Middlesex-London (127), Windsor-Essex (208), Hamilton (153), Halton Region (100), Niagara (192) and Waterloo (206).

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.

The province said it completed 51,045 COVID-19 tests in the last-recorded 24-hour period. The province’s test positivity rate now stands at about 8.5 per cent, according to officials.

There are 29,316 COVID-19 tests still under investigation. In total, Ontario has processed more than 8.2 million tests since the pandemic began in January.

Thus far, 60,380 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 9,795 doses administered in the previous day. The vaccine requires two doses. In Ontario, 860 total vaccinations have been completed as of Wednesday.  

– With files from CTV News Toronto’s Colin D’Mello

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