Toronto

Ontario reports record 1,924 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Toronto saw 568 new cases, Peel Region had 477 and York Region had 249. It's the second-straight day that Ontario has broken a record in its daily case count.

701 patients with COVID-19 are now in hospital in the province

A medical staff member tends to a patient suspected of having COVID-19 in the intensive care unit at North York General Hospital in Toronto in May. Ontario reported a new record high of 1,924 COVID-19 cases on Sunday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported a new record high of 1,924 COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Toronto saw 568 new cases, Peel Region had 477 and York Region had 249. It's the second-straight day that Ontario has broken a record in its daily case count.

The province recorded 15 additional COVID-19 related deaths. Eight of those who died were residents of long-term care homes.

The new deaths mean a total of 3,772 people have died of the virus in Ontario.

There are now 701 patients with COVID-19 in hospitals across the province. Of this number, 204 are in intensive care units and 109 are breathing with the help of ventilators.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province's network of labs processed nearly 59,300 tests.

"The spread of COVID-19 has reached a critical point," Elliott wrote on Twitter. "We need everyone to do their part and follow public health advice."

There are 1,574 more cases marked as resolved, Elliott said. The province's cumulative total, or total number of cases since the outbreak began, is now 127,309.

The new case number reported on Sunday marks the first time that daily case count has topped 1,900. There were 1,859 new infections reported on Saturday.

Among the other areas reporting double-digit increases on Sunday are:

  • Durham Region: 104.
  • Hamilton: 87.
  • Halton Region: 51.
  • Ottawa: 61.
  • Waterloo Region: 47.

3 regions face more COVID-19 restrictions on Monday

Toronto and Peel Region have been in lockdown since Nov. 23, with most non-essential businesses closed. 

The soaring weekend case counts come a day before stricter measures are set to take effect in three regions of Ontario in an effort to stop further spread of the virus while also keeping schools open.

As of Monday, Middlesex-London and Thunder Bay will move into the orange-restrict zone, while the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will move into the yellow-protect zone.

Moving to orange enacts an array of new protective measures, such as greater restrictions on gatherings and more limitations on visitors to long-term care facilities.

York Region has continued to avoid the grey-lockdown zone, despite being among the hardest-hit areas after Toronto and Peel Region.

'Picture remains quite uncertain'

Peel Region's medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, said on Sunday that the situation there reflects the reality that the level of community transmission needs to come down.

"Our picture remains quite uncertain in Peel, quite turbulent, and the most important thing is to really keep an eye on the hospitalizations," Loh told CBC News.

Peel Region's medical officer of health, Dr. Lawrence Loh, says more than half of the long-term care homes in the region are currently in the midst of a COVID-19 outbreak. (CBC)

"We know that our cases are continuing to grow, but thankfully the rate of growth has slowed and that means that the surge that we're seeing in our hospitals, hopefully if we manage to keep things where they are with cases in the community, the hospital situation will also stabilize." 

Loh said both hospitals in the region are at capacity, and William Osler Health System and Trillium Health Partners have started transferring patients to provide care in "non-traditional spaces."

He also said more than half of the long-term care homes in the region are currently in outbreak.

"Thankfully most of them are not large outbreaks, though we do have a few that are seeing some severe outbreaks in our community," Loh said.

With files from Desmond Brown and Colin Cote-Paulette and The Canadian Press

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