Published Friday, June 19, 2020 10:29AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 19, 2020 11:21AM EDT
The latest data from the Ministry of Health indicates that were 178 new cases of the virus confirmed on Thursday.
That is up slightly from the 173 new cases confirmed on Wednesday but it is roughly in line with the five-day rolling average of 181.
The number of active cases also continued to decline on Thursday and now stands at 2,281 after 246 more existing cases were moved over to “recovered” in the province’s database.
Of the new cases confirmed on Thursday, nearly 60 per cent of them were in the three areas that have been held back from advancing to the second stage of the province’s reopening plan – Toronto, Peel Region and Windsor-Essex.
More than half of Ontario’s 34 public health units (18), meanwhile, reported no new cases over the last 24 hours.
Speaking with CP24 earlier on Friday, Mayor John Tory said that he believes that there has been “continuous improvement with all the different numbers” in Toronto and that it is now just a matter of time before the city gets the green light to enter stage two, which allows for the reopening of restaurant patios, barbers and shopping malls, among other things.
On Friday seven more regions entered stage two, including York, Durham and Halton regions.
“I just think it is a matter of making absolutely sure that those numbers are right but I think we are very, very close,” Tory said. “I can just tell you that we are ready. We have done all the things that you would expect the city government to do in terms of putting out the guidelines to the hair salons, the nail salons, the bars, the restaurants and others so that we can be ready.”
More than 27,000 tests conducted
The province struggled to increase its testing numbers earlier in the pandemic and at one point was last in Canada on a per-capita basis.
That has since changed and on Thursday 27,225 tests were conducted, which is the second most completed in Ontario over any 24-hour period so far.
It also points to a positivity rate of about 0.65 per cent.
At one point last month, Ontario had seen its positive rate increase to nearly seven per cent amid an uptick in cases and a decline in testing.
“We’re continuing to see a steady decline in cases as we gradually reopen our economy—providing the confidence we need to continue moving forward,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a message posted to Twitter on Friday. “Having processed over 27,000 tests yesterday, Ontario continues to lead the country in daily COVID-19 testing. With a population more than three times their size, we’re very quickly catching up to Alberta in cumulative tests per capita, the only province ahead of Ontario.”
Hospitalizations continue to decline
The latest data suggests that another 11 people with COVID-19 died over the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of fatalities so far to 2,564.
Encouragingly, hospitals are continuing to see fewer and fewer COVID-19 patients, especially when compared to the earlier days of the pandemic.
Over the last 24 hours, the number of people receiving treatment for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals declined from 351 to 331. That is compared to the more than 1,000 people that were hospitalized with COVID-19 at times last month.
Of the remaining patients, 82 of them are receiving treatment in intensive care units.
That number previously peaked at 264 in early April when the province was regularly reporting in excess of 500 new cases a day.
Other highlights from the data:
- The number of active outbreaks at Ontario long-term care homes rose by six in the latest data and now stands at 79
- There was also one new outbreak reported at a hospital, bringing the total number of active outbreaks in hospital settings to four
- There was another 9 deaths in long-term care home residents over the last 24 hours. The total so far now stands at 1,645.
- The total number of people to be hospitalized at any point with COVID-19 now stands at 4,099, accounting for more than 12 per cent of all cases
- The total number of those people to be admitted to ICU units at any point during the pandemic is 869
- There have now been 2,142 confirmed cases among healthcare workers after 27 new cases were identified on Thursday
- People between the ages of 20 and 39 accounted for the biggest jump in confirmed cases on Thursday (58), followed by those between the ages of 40 and 59 (51)