Ontario reports record 2,275 new COVID-19 cases, including 22 in greater Kawarthas region

Active regional cases increase to 134, with 10 new cases in Hastings Prince Edward, 8 in Peterborough, and 4 in Northumberland

Health minister Christine Elliott responds to a reporter's question about the record increase of 2,275 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario during a media briefing at Queen's Park on December 15, 2020. (CPAC screenshot)
Health minister Christine Elliott responds to a reporter's question about the record increase of 2,275 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario during a media briefing at Queen's Park on December 15, 2020. (CPAC screenshot)

Here’s an update on COVID-19 cases in Ontario as well as in the greater Kawarthas region.

Ontario is reporting 2,275 new COVID-19 cases today — although the province is attributing at least some of the sharp increase to a change in how data is now being collected.

The government says Public Health Ontario has made several updates in how it extracts and analyzes COVID-19 case data, including changing the data extraction time from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for health units using case and contact management. This change, which has captured 2.5 hours worth of cases today that would have been reported tomorrow, has resulted in a one-time increase in case counts.

“That explains some of the increase,” Ontario health minister Christine Elliott said today during a Queen’s Park media conference providing an update on the province’s vaccination rollout. “But those are still disturbing numbers, and we do know that in some areas people are still not complying with the public health rules and regulations”, adding “It’s really important that people not get together in gatherings larger than their own household — that’s how we have the community transmission that we have.”

While the province hasn’t specified how many additional cases the data collection change has added to today’s total, the seven-day average of daily cases has now increased by 86 to 1,927.

In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 22 new cases to report and 14 additional cases resolved, with the number of active cases across the region increasing by 9 to 134.

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Most of the new cases reported today are in Toronto (711), Peel (586), Windsor-Essex (185), and York (154).

There are double-digit increases in Hamilton (99), Durham (92), Waterloo (71), Halton (65), Niagara (65), Simcoe Muskoka (55), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (37), Middlesex-London (31), Brant County (28), Southwestern Public Health (21), Huron Perth (12), Eastern Ontario Health Unit (11), and Haldimand-Norfolk (11), with smaller increases in Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unitt (8) and Chatham-Kent (8).

The remaining 15 health units are reporting 5 or fewer new cases, with only 2 health units reporting no new cases at all.

Of today’s cases, 51% are among people under 40 years of age, with the highest number of cases (815) among people ages 20 to 39 followed by 672 cases among people ages 40 to 59. With 1,810 more cases resolved since yesterday, the percentage of resolved cases has decreased by 0.1% to 85.4%. The average positivity rate across Ontario since yesterday has increased by 0.8% to 5.4%, meaning that 54 out of every 1,000 tests performed were positive for COVID-19 on December 14.

Ontario is reporting 20 new COVID-19 deaths today, including 1 in long-term care facilities. Hospitalizations have jumped by 108 to 921, with 5 more patients with COVID-19 admitted to ICUs and another 7 patients on ventilators.

A total of 39,566 tests were completed yesterday, and the backlog of tests under investigation has increased by 13,725 to 45,770.

There are 319 new cases in Ontario schools today, an increase of 182 cases from yesterday, with 270 student cases, 48 staff cases, and 1 case among unidentified individuals. There are 55 new cases in licensed child care settings, an increase of 29 from yesterday, with 30 cases among children and 25 cases among staff. Cases reported on Tuesdays include the total number of cases reported from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon.

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 22 new cases to report, including 10 in Hastings Prince Edward, 8 in Peterborough, and 4 in Northumberland. There are no new cases in Kawartha Lakes or Haliburton.

Of the cases in Ontario schools, 1 student case has been reported at Merwin Greer School in Cobourg, and 2 student cases at Northumberland Hills Public School in Cramahe. None of the reported cases in licensed child care settings are in the greater Kawarthas region.

An additional 7 cases have been resolved in Northumberland, 4 in Hastings Prince Edward, and 3 in Peterborough. An employee of Fairhaven long-term care home in Peterborough has tested positive, prompting the home to declare an outbreak today; however, the health unit has not officially confirmed the outbreak.

There are currently 134 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, including 54 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (with 22 in Quinte West and 24 in Belleville), 44 in Northumberland, 24 in Peterborough, 11 in Kawartha Lakes, and 1 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 255 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (226 resolved with 5 deaths), 218 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (188 resolved with 32 deaths), 170 in Northumberland County (125 resolved with 1 death), 27 in Haliburton County (26 resolved with no deaths), and 233 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (174 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Peterborough on November 23.

Province-wide, there have been 144,396 confirmed cases, an increase of 2,275 from yesterday. However, this increase reflects changes in how Public Health Ontario extracts and analyzes COVID-19 case data, including capturing cases reported 2.5 hours later than in the past, which has resulted in a one-time increase in case counts. A total of 121,563 cases have been resolved (85.4% of all cases), an increase of 1,810 from yesterday. There have been 3,992 deaths, an increase of 20 from yesterday, with 2,491 deaths in long-term care homes, an increase of 1 from yesterday. The number of hospitalizations has increased by 108 to 921, with 5 more patients with COVID-19 admitted tn ICUs and another 7 patients on ventilators. A total of 7,059,300 tests have been completed, an increase of 39,566 from yesterday, with 45,770 tests under investigation, an increase of 13,725 from yesterday.

The provincial data in this report is pulled from Ontario’s integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS) at 12 p.m. the previous day. Data from local health units is more current and is usually reflected in the provincial data the following day. There may be discrepancies between the Ontario data reported today (which is from yesterday) and the local health unit data reported today (which is from today).

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Peterborough Public Health

Peterborough Public Health’s service area is the City and County of Peterborough and the Hiawatha and Curve Lake First Nations.

The health unit provides daily reports, including on weekends.

Confirmed positive: 255 (increase of 8)
Active cases: 24 (increase of 7)
Close contacts: 81 (increase of 7)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Resolved: 226 (increase of 3)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 12 (no change)*
Total tests completed: Over 37,950 (increase of 50)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)**

*Peterborough Regional Health Centre reports that, as of December 15, there is 1 patient with COVID-19 on an inpatient unit.

**On December 15, Fairhaven long-term care home in Peterborough declared an outbreak after an employee tested positive, but this information has not yet been confirmed by the health unit.

 

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit’s service area is the City of Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland County, and Haliburton County.

The health unit provides reports from Monday to Saturday, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 415, including 218 in Kawartha Lakes, 170 in Northumberland, 27 in Haliburton (increase of 4 in Northumberland)
Active cases: 56, including 11 in Kawartha Lakes, 44 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (decrease of 3 in Northumberland)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
High-risk contacts: 154, including 29 in Kawartha Lakes, 124 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (net decrease of 20)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 18, including 11 in Kawartha Lakes, 6 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (no change)
Deaths: 33 (no change)
Resolved: 339, including 188 in Kawartha Lakes, 125 in Northumberland, 26 in Haliburton (increase of 7 in Northumberland)
Institutional outbreaks: Extendicare Kawartha Lakes in Lindsay (no change)

 

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health’s service area is Hastings County (including Bancroft) and Prince Edward County.

The health unit provides daily reports, excluding statutory holidays.

Confirmed positive: 233 (increase of 10)
Active cases: 54 (increase of 6)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Currently hospitalized: 1 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator (total to date): 0 (no change)
Resolved: 174 (increase of 4)
Swabs completed: 14,885
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 144,396 (increase of 2,275)*
Resolved: 123,373 (increase of 1,810, 85.4% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 921 (increase of 108)
Hospitalized and in ICU: 249 (increase of 5)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 156 (increase of 7)
Deaths: 3,992 (increase of 20)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 2,491 (increase of 1)
Total tests completed: 7,059,300 (increase of 39,566)
Tests under investigation: 45,770 (increase of 13,725)

*Several updates have been made to how Public Health Ontario extracts and analyzes COVID-19 case data that may impact today’s results, including changing the data extraction time from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for health units using case and contact management. This change has resulted in a one-time increase in case counts, as some cases that would have been reported tomorrow are being reported today instead.

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 14 - December 14, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
New COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 14 – December 14, 2020. The red line is the number of new cases reported daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of new cases. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from November 14 - December 14, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario from November 14 – December 14, 2020. The red line is the number of tests completed daily, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of tests completed. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

For more information about COVID-19 in Ontario, visit covid-19.ontario.ca.

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