Ontario reports record-high 1,388 new COVID-19 cases


Ontario reported 1,388 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, a new single-day record, and 15 more deaths linked to the illness.

It’s the third time in four days that record daily case counts have been set in the province.

The newly confirmed infections push the seven-day average, a measure that helps provide a clearer picture of longer-term trends, up to 1,154, the highest since the outbreak began in Ontario in late January.

The total includes 520 more cases in Toronto — a second consecutive new high for the city — as well as 395 in Peel Region, 100 in York Region, 72 in Halton Region and 50 in Niagara.

Peel is the only one of 34 public health units in the red “control” category of the province’s new tiered, colour-coded system for COVID-19 restrictions. The region is seeing more than 100 new weekly cases per 100,000 people, a key indicator for moving a region into the red. Peel’s medical officer of health has also implemented further local restrictions.

Toronto, meanwhile, is under the restrictions of modified Stage 2 until at least Nov. 14. The province delayed its transition into the new system at the request of local officials. Toronto is currently clocking about 97.6 weekly new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, quickly approaching the threshold for the red tier.

Other areas that saw double-digit increases in today’s report include:

  • Waterloo Region: 42.
  • Durham Region: 36.
  • Hamilton: 35.
  • Ottawa: 23.
  • Huron Perth: 22.
  • Middlesex-London: 20.
  • Simcoe Muskoka: 20.
  • Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 13.

Of the newly reported cases, 159 are school-related, including 103 students, 23 staff and 33 people who are not identified. There have now been 601, or about 12.45 per cent, of Ontario’s publicly funded schools that have reported at least one case, while three schools are currently closed because of the illness. 

The total comes Ontario’s network of labs processed just 29,125 test samples for the novel coronavirus, far below the current capacity of about 50,000.

The relatively low figure means there was a roughly 5.7 per cent positivity rate for tests yesterday, while another 27,802 tests were added to the queue to be completed.

10K active cases

Today is the first time the number of confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 provincewide has surpassed 10,000. 

The province is also reporting a considerable jump in the number of people in hospitals with the illness, up 55 to 422. Of those, 82 are being treated in intensive care and 54 are on ventilators.

Ontario’s official death count connected to COVID-19 is now 3,260. About 64 per cent of those deaths were residents in long-term care.

[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 avoids lag times in the provincial system.]

Colour-coded guidelines are ‘baseline’

On Tuesday afternoon, Premier Doug Ford took questions about the province’s new colour-coded COVID-19 guidelines, which took effect in much of the province this past weekend.

Toronto is scheduled to enter the orange zone, which is more lenient than its current rules under a modified Stage 2, on Nov. 14. 

Ford affirmed on Tuesday that he considers the colour levels a “baseline” which local medical officers of health can add rules on top of — something Peel Region has already opted to do.

When asked if medical officers of health are able to trigger a full lockdown if they deem it necessary, he replied that they do, but “we’ve never taken that approach.” 

Read more at CBC.ca