Ontario reports record high new COVID-19 cases with 3,945, logs 61 new deaths

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will not be seeing mass immunizations take place until April, as it logs a new single-day record of 3,945 new COVID-19 cases and 61 new deaths on Sunday.

Mass immunizations will not begin until April, Ford says

Nurse Megan Buehholz administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to care home worker Melissa Vitug at a clinic in St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto on Dec. 22, 2020. Ontario is reporting 3,945 new cases of COVID-19 and 61 more deaths on Sunday. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province will not be seeing mass immunizations take place until April, as it logs a new single-day record of 3,945 new COVID-19 cases and 61 new deaths on Sunday.

In a video tweet on Sunday, Ford said that mass vaccinations will not be taking place in the province until April, May and June. 

In the video, he calls on Ontarians to "band together" and continue following public health protocol to curb the spread of the novel virus.

"I'm asking one more time, we need to band together, we need to stick together," Ford said.

"We're going to see some real turbulent waters over the next couple of months."

As of Sunday, a total of 113,246 COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the province with 9,983 given out Saturday.

Twenty-one of the 61 people who died in the last 24 hours were residents of the long-term care system.

Locally, Toronto had 1,160 new cases, Peel Region had 641, York Region had 357, Windsor-Essex County had 223 and Waterloo Region had 220.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province's network of labs completed 62,300 tests in the last 24 hours. There are 39,362 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.

The provincial health ministry reported that 1,483 people are in hospital as a result of COVID-19. Of this number, 388 are in intensive care units and 266 are breathing with the help of ventilators.

Sunday marks the seventh straight day of more than 3,000 new daily cases in Ontario. A total of 3,443 new infections were reported on Saturday.

A total of 4,249 cases were reported on Friday but about 450 were attributable to a data upload delay from Toronto Public Health.

The new deaths reported on Sunday bring the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in Ontario since the pandemic began to 4,983. 

Other areas reporting COVID-19 case numbers in the triple digits on Saturday include:

  • Durham Region: 190.
  • Middlesex-London: 173.
  • Niagara: 151.
  • Ottawa: 129.
  • Halton Region: 118.

More than 30,000 cases are now considered active and there have been 180,720 cases marked as resolved.

New COVID-19 modelling data coming Tuesday

According to Ford's office, the latest COVID-19 modelling for Ontario will be presented on Tuesday.

On Friday, Ford said further restrictions are coming for Ontario, as health officials described the pandemic as "scary."

The premier said the new modelling will paint a potentially dire scenario in the province.

"We're in a desperate situation, and when you see the modelling, you'll fall out of your chair," Ford said.

"There will be further measures, because this is getting out of control."

The provincial government ordered a 28-day Ontario-wide lockdown on Dec. 26 in an effort to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

With files from Desmond Brown and The Canadian Press


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