Ontario sees 425 new COVID-19 cases, most in more than 3 months

Consistent with recent trends, the majority of new infections were concentrated in three public health units. Toronto saw 175, while Peel confirmed 84 and Ottawa 60. 

About 67% of newly confirmed cases are people under 40 years old, health minister says

The province said recently it is ramping up the number of COVID-19 testing sites in areas where new daily cases are trending upward again. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford responded to questions about what's taken his government so long to unveil its fall preparedness plan on COVID-19, calling the situation facing the province a "fluid" one.

While Monday saw the highest number of new daily cases in Ontario in over three months, Ford told reporters Monday that what the province is facing today is different than what it faced in March or July.

"Things are changing day by day," the premier said.

Ford says he will begin releasing the plan Tuesday. Health Minister Christine Elliott says some elements of the plan
are already being implemented, including a ramp-up in testing.

Elliott also said a second wave will be more complicated to respond to because of flu season and the need to address the province's surgery backlog. 

Elliott says the plan will involve "hundreds of millions" in spending, which has required the government to complete due
diligence on the strategy.

Meanwhile, Ford says the province has reached out to university and private laboratories to help process an increasing number of tests.

Ontario reported an additional 425 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the most on any single day in three-and-a-half months. 

The spike comes about two weeks after Ontarians had their last long weekend, Labour Day. Ahead of the next long weekend, Thanksgiving, Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe stresses indoor social gatherings be limited to 10 people, and reiterates that if those gatherings are made up of people outside one's social circle, people must physically distance or wear masks where distance isn't possible.

Consistent with recent trends, the majority of new infections were concentrated in three public health units. Toronto saw 175, while Peel confirmed 84 and Ottawa 60. York Region confirmed another 20. 

Several other regions reported double-digit increases:

  • Durham Region Health Department: 14.
  • Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services: 13.
  • Halton Region Public Health: 12.

The health minister said in a series of tweets that about 67 per cent of cases in today's update are people under the age of 40. 

Further, 18 of the newly confirmed cases are what the province classifies as "school-related." Eight are students, four are staff and six are categorized as "individuals not identified." There have now been a cumulative total of 90 student-related cases reported across Ontario since the new school year began. 

Ontario has now seen a total of 47,274 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak began in late January. Of those, around 87 per cent are resolved, a figure that has been in decline for several weeks. Another 178 infections were marked resolved in today's report. 

There are currently some 3,300 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, the most since June 10.

Ontario's network of labs processed 31,700 tests for the novel coronavirus yesterday.

Meanwhile, there are 65 patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from a low of 32 in mid-August. The real figure could be even higher, the province noted in its report, because 35 hospitals did not report data from their daily bed census in time for it to be included in today's update. 

Twenty-two of those patients are being treated in intensive care, and 12 are on ventilators.

The province's official death toll from the illness increased by two and now sits at 2,829. A CBC News count based on data provided directly by public health units put the real toll at 2,869.

All of the figures in this story can be found in the provincial ministry of health's daily update, which includes data up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit.

With files from Lucas Powers, Mike Crawley and The Canadian Press