At 3 p.m. ET, top provincial health officials are set to provide an update on current COVID-19 modelling in Ontario.
You can watch the news conference live in this story.
Ontario reported another 934 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the seven-day average of new daily cases to nearly 900.
The new cases include 420 found in Toronto, the most on a single day in the city by a considerable margin. The previous record was 330 infections recorded on Sept. 29.
Additionally, 169 were confirmed in Peel Region, 95 in York Region and 58 in Ottawa.
Several other areas also saw double-digit increase:
- Halton Region: 35
- Hamilton: 28
- Durham Region: 19
- Niagara: 16
- Simcoe Muskoka: 15
- Waterloo Region: 13
- Eastern Ontario: 13
The seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that helps limit noise in the data to provide a clearer picture of long-term trends, is now about 899, also a new record high since the first case was reported in Ontario in January.
The new infections come with 35,621 completed tests, more than typically done throughout this week but still below capacity, which is about 45,000 daily, according to provincial public health officials.
Further, the number of people in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 jumped 10 up to 322 after two straight days of staying steady. Those being treated in intensive care increased by six, up to 77, while the number of patients on ventilators is 52.
The province also added 10 more COVID-19-linked deaths, bringing the total to 3,118. Some 2,001 of those deaths were residents of long-term care facilities.
There are currently about 7,578 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, the most ever.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health’s daily update, which includes data from 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, which often avoid lag times found in the provincial system.)
Despite current trends, Premier Doug Ford promised that a “positive” projection report on COVID-19 numbers in Ontario would be released by the province today.
Ford again said Thursday that the province is seeing “a little bit of a decline” in numbers, while adding that people can’t let their guard down.
Amidst this backdrop, Ford and his ministers spent the first 25 minutes of Thursday’s press conference talking about “Ontario made” labels and branding. At one point, Ford told viewers to “buy a BBQ” from the manufacturer hosting the news conference.
“We need to support the local home team as I always say,” Ford said.
Ford was again asked Thursday if he’s anticipating that Ontario regions that are currently in a “modified Stage 2” will be able to go back to Stage 3 of reopening measures once a 28-day period is finished early next month.
The premier said the province is looking at taking a “surgical approach,” in these regions.
“We’re working with our health team, and I can’t give you 100 per cent,” Ford said.
Hand sanitizer recalled
Health Canada has issued an expanded recall notice for a brand of hand sanitizer sold at Dollarama and other locations.
The agency said Daily Shield-branded products are being pulled off store shelves across the country.
Health Canada said the products, manufactured by Mississauga-based Bio Life Sciences Corp., were found to contain methanol, an unauthorized ingredient that can cause severe health issues.
Testing also revealed that the product’s ethanol content is not high enough to be effective in killing germs.
Health Canada said it also discovered a number of code violations at Bio Life and has suspended its product licences.
The Daily Shield brand was at the centre of an earlier recall notice that described one product as a “counterfeit,” but Health Canada said that’s no longer the case.
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