Health

Record breaking day for COVID-19 cases in Ontario

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A few short hours after the federal government announced that Canada will receive 249,000 doses of Pzifer's COVID-19 vaccine (pending Health Canada approval) this month, the Ontario government briefed residents on its rollout plan.

Hillier says "Phase 3, which we will be planning at the same time, is what I would call a "Steady State", and that's when we want to turn the operation into one which is identical to the flu vaccine or the shingles vaccine, where your pharmacies, your medical clinics, your provincial health units, are the places you would go".

Ontario logged a record-high 1,925 new infections on Monday, 1,924 cases on Sunday and 1,859 infections on Saturday.

Williams said that while the numbers are concerning, they are not as high as the 6,000 daily cases predicted by modelling figures last month.

The province is also reporting 15 new deaths linked to the virus.

Eleven of the new deaths come from residents of long-term care homes. Of the confirmed cases 16,089 are active and 112,875 have been resolved.

The government said there are 588 new cases in Toronto, 349 in Peel Region, and 141 in York Region.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region logged 75 new cases, relatively unchanged from Tuesday, while Halton recorded 96 new cases, up from 66 a day ago.

There are now 115 long-term care homes with an active outbreak of the disease.

Doses of the Pfizer vaccine are set to arrive in the province starting next week and all of Ontario's 440 mayors got an update from Premier Doug Ford on how it's going to work and how communities in the area might be involved.

"The COVID-19 vaccine will not be mandated for Ontarians but we do strongly suggest that people embrace the opportunity once the vaccine is approved by Health Canada".

Public Health Ontario says 48,546 COVID-19 tests were performed provincewide on Tuesday and that 54,613 tests remain under investigation.

Hospitalizations surged past 800 and there are now 221 patients in the ICU.

This is an increase of over 200 cases from Tuesday's report but comes with almost 10,000 more completed tests. The province's testing positivity rate is at least 4.4 per cent, down from five per cent on Tuesday.

The Ontario budget says that if the money remains unspent in the reserves by the end of the fiscal year it will be used to reduce the deficit and provincial debt.

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