Published Wednesday, April 15, 2020 10:32AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 15, 2020 11:10AM EDT
The Ministry of Health is also reporting 494 new cases over the last 24 hours.
That is the highest number since a record 550 cases were reported on April 8.
There have now been a total of 385 deaths attributed to the virus provincewide, including 145 at long-term care homes.
The total number of confirmed cases among residents at long-term care homes now stands at 834 while the number of cases among staff is 453.
The alarming statistics come ahead of an afternoon news conference where Premier Doug Ford is set to announce additional precautions to help limit the spread of the virus in long-term care homes.
“We're dealing with a wildfire at our long-term care homes right now," he conceded on Tuesday.
The number of new cases reported on a daily basis dipped to a recent low of 401 new cases on Sunday but had been trending back upwards in recent days.
The higher number of new cases coincides with the province ramping up its testing efforts.
The province conducted 6,010 tests over the last 24 hours, up from 4,852 one day prior. Officials have previously said that they expected to be completing 8,000 daily tests by today with that number rising to 13,000 by later in the month.
It should be noted, however, that as the province increases testing the backlog of tests waiting to be processed seems to be rising at a faster rate. The number of cases listed as under investigation more than doubled over the last 24 hours, going from 2,107 to 4,429.
Encouragingly, the data does suggest that intensive care units are not yet being inundated with COVID-19 patients. While there are 26 more people in hospital with the virus than there were one day prior (a total of 795), the number of people in intensive care units seems to be holding relatively steady. That number stood at 263 on Monday but dropped to 255 on Tuesday and is now at 254. The number of those people on ventilators is also down over the last 24 hours, going from 199 to 188.
“It does look like we may be flattening out a little bit which is obviously a wonderful sign. But just because we are flattening out doesn’t mean we can get complacent here in Ontario,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24 on Wednesday morning. “We are getting between 400 and 500 new cases per day and that is still quite a few new cases. I am glad it is not going up but we have to remember that some people are going to get sick enough to succumb to this illness, especially in long-term care facilities.”
There are now 8,447 confirmed cases in Ontario, including recoveries and deaths.
That number is up 60 per cent from the 5,276 cases the province was reporting at this time last week.
More than 3,900 people have made recoveries from the disease, representing 46 per cent of the provincial total count of cases.