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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Ontario confirms 292 new cases of COVID-19 as testing numbers finally increase

Following several consecutive days of rising COVID-19 case numbers in Ontario, provincial health officials are reporting just 292 new cases as of Wednesday morning.

This marks the second day in a row where new case numbers have remained below 300, with just 287 new cases reported yesterday.The update also brings the total number of cases in the province to 26,483, 3,956 of which are still active. 

This is a promising trend following an alarming spike that has now been attributed to Mother's Day gatherings, and testing in the province is also finally picking up once again. 

Health officials administered 15,133 tests in the province yesterday, bringing the total numbers of tests completed in Ontario 644,547.

Though this is still slightly below the province's own benchmark of 16,000 tests per day, as well as Ontario's capacity of 21,000 tests per day, it's a significant improvement from the 9,875 tests conducted yesterday and similar numbers in the days prior.

Sadly, provincial officials have also confirmed 32 new COVID-19-related deaths over the past 24 hours.

A total of 2,155 deaths have now been reported in the province to date, 1,587 of which were among residents of long-term care homes. One additional LTC home outbreak has also been reported since the previous report, bringing the total number of LTC home outbreaks to 298.

Also of note is the fact that Greater Toronto Area public health units now account for 65.3 per cent of all cases, 56 per cent of all cases in Ontario are in women, and people aged 40 to 59 have the highest incidence of falling ill with the virus — with 30 per cent of the province's cases attributed to people within this age group.

Meanwhile, 847 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, 150 of which are in ICU and 117 of which are on a ventilator.

The decrease in new case numbers coupled with the increase in testing is what many have been hoping to see in the province as businesses and services continue to reopen as a part of Ontario's first stage of restarting the economy.

Provincial health officials and Premier Doug Ford have said they're paying close attention to the impacts of these changes and will determine next steps (whether to move to the next stage or reimplement lockdown measures) based on the results. 

Ford also extended all emergency orders in the province today until at least June 9.

by Mira Miller via blogTO

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