Ontario Premier Doug Ford is holding a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. ET at Queen’s Park. Ford is being joined by the minister of health and the head of the province’s vaccine distribution task force.
You can watch it live in this story.
Ontario reported another 1,855 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday while its labs processed more than 58,000 tests, both single-day records by considerable margins.
The new cases include 517 in Peel Region, 494 in Toronto, 189 in York Region and 130 in Halton Region.
They push the seven-day average of daily cases to 1,489, the highest it has been since the first confirmed infection was reported in Ontario in late January.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:
Hamilton: 82 Waterloo Region: 74 Durham Region: 65 Ottawa: 55 Windsor-Essex: 52 Simcoe Muskoka: 38 Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 27 Niagara: 20 Brant County: 16 Huron Perth: 14 Grey Bruce: 11 Middlesex-London: 10 Haldimand-Norfolk: 10
There are also 122 school-related infections, of which 99 are students and 23 are staff members. There are 671 publicly funded schools in Ontario, or about 14 per cent, with at least one reported instance of COVID-19. Six schools are closed because of outbreaks.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its daily epidemiologic summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, because local units report figures at different times.)
There are currently 13,255 confirmed, active cases of the illness provincewide, the most there have been in Ontario since the pandemic began.
The 58,037 test samples processed between 2 p.m. Wednesday and 2 p.m. Thursday is nearly 10,000 more than the previous high, which came on Oct. 8. The province’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs reported a test positivity rate of 3.7 per cent. Public health officials have previously said they hope to build capacity for 100,000 tests daily by mid-December.
The 58,037 tests completed in Ontario is by far the most for a 24-hour period since the pandemic began. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)
Meanwhile, the number of people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals fell by 15 to 541. Those patients being treated in intensive care stayed steady at 151, while patients being ventilated decreased slightly, by four, to 101.
The province also recorded 20 more deaths linked to the illness, pushing the official death toll 3,595. So far this month, 450 people with COVID-19 have died in Ontario.
Looking for more information about the COVID-19 situation in Ontario? These CBC News stories can help:
What does the latest modelling suggest?
Ontario health officials warn the province remains in a “precarious situation” but has a chance of keeping the daily case rate around the 1,500 mark.
What is the province recommending for the holiday season?
Celebrate only with those in your household, is the guidance coming from the government.
What about for daily life?
In Toronto, where a lockdown is in place, Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, warned residents that COVID-19 is now hitting nearly every neighbourhood hard.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said “the easier we make it” for COVID-19 to spread, “the worse it gets for people.” 1:20