Ontario reports record 2,553 COVID-19 cases, with highest-ever positivity rate of 9.7%

Over past 2 days, active regional cases decrease to 111 with 8 new cases in Hastings Prince Edward, 8 in Northumberland, 6 in Kawartha Lakes, 3 in Peterborough, and 2 in Haliburton

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's deputy chief medical officer of health, provided an update on Ontario's COVID-19 situation at a media conference at Queen's Park on December 29, 2020. (CPAC screenshot)
Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario's deputy chief medical officer of health, provided an update on Ontario's COVID-19 situation at a media conference at Queen's Park on December 29, 2020. (CPAC screenshot)

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

After reporting 1,939 new cases yesterday, today Ontario is reporting a record increase of 2,553 new cases, eclipsing the previous record high of 2,447 cases reported on Christmas Eve.

The seven-day average of daily cases across the province has increased by 24 to 2,236.

At a media conference at Queen’s Park on Tuesday (December 29), Ontario’s deputy chief medical officer of health Dr. Barbara Yaffe noted the record increase in cases, along with the record high positivity rate of 9.7%, but added the increase in cases is not related to the Christmas holidays.

“It’s too early for us to be seeing the results of any get-togethers that may have occurred,” Dr. Yaffe said. “But what we have learned from our colleagues at Toronto Public Health, is that the increase in their daily numbers can in part be attributed to pre-Christmas shopping trips, often in groups. We will also need to closely monitor to determine whether our numbers continue to trend in a similar direction, or if this is a one- or two-day anomaly.”

While Yaffe acknowledged no-one wants to be living through the lockdown measures that came into effect on Boxing Day, she said it is essential to reduce the increasing case numbers.

“This is what we need to do — what we must do — to slow the transmission of this infection,” Yaffe said.

In the greater Kawarthas region over the past 2 days, there are 27 new cases to report, 39 additional cases resolved, and 1 new death, with the number of active cases across the region decreasing by 18 to 111.

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Most of today’s new cases are in Toronto (with a record increase of 895), Peel (496), Windsor-Essex (147), Hamilton (144), York (142), Niagara (115), and Durham (108).

There are double-digit increases in Middlesex-London (86), Halton (78), Ottawa (65), Waterloo (57), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (57), Simcoe Muskoka (34), Southwestern Public Health (25), Chatham-Kent (19), Eastern Ontario Health Unit (16), Lambton (16), Brant (11), and Haldimand-Norfolk (10), with smaller increases in Thunder Bay (9) and Huron Perth (8).

The remaining 13 health units are reporting 5 or fewer new cases, with 5 health units reporting no new cases at all.

The number of new infections continue to increase in people 40 years of age and older, with 53% of today’s cases in that age group. The highest number of cases (885) continues to be among people ages 20 to 39, but it is now closely followed by 778 cases among people ages 40 to 59. With 2,233 more cases resolved since yesterday, the percentage of resolved cases has increased by 0.1% to 86.2%.

Since it was last publicly available on December 24, the average positivity rate across Ontario has jumped by 6.0% to 9.7%, meaning that 97 out of every 1,000 tests performed were positive for COVID-19 on December 28. This is the highest provincial positivity rate yet reported.

Ontario is reporting 41 new COVID-19 deaths today, including 18 deaths in long-term care facilities. Combined with yesterday’s increase of 37 deaths (including 12 in long-term care facilities), Ontario has reported 78 deaths in the last two days.

Hospitalizations have decreased by 11 to 864, but this total does not include data from more than 10% of hospitals. With 8 more patients with COVID-19 in ICUs reported today and 11 more yesterday, there are now 304 COVID-19 ICU patients in Ontario. With 4 fewer COVID-19 patients on ventilators reported today but 17 more reported yesterday, there are now 207 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.

A total of 34,112 tests were completed yesterday, with the backlog of tests under investigation increasing by 6,397 to 32,850.

Due to the winter break and the remote learning period during the provincial shutdown, there will be no data to report for Ontario schools between December 22 and January 8. There are 29 new cases in licensed child care settings, an increase of 5 since the last report on December 24, with 11 cases among children and 18 cases among staff.

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 27 new cases to report over the past 2 days, including 8 in Hastings Prince Edward, 8 in Northumberland, 6 in Kawartha Lakes, and 2 in Haliburton. Peterborough has reported 3 new cases today but, since its last update on December 27, the total case count has been reduced by 2.

There has been 1 new death due to COVID-19 in Northumberland.

Over the past 2 days, 25 additional cases have been resolved in Northumberland, 7 in Hastings Prince Edward, 4 in Peterborough, and 3 in Kawartha Lakes.

None of the new cases in licensed child care settings are in the greater Kawarthas region.

There are currently 111 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, a decrease of 18 since December 27, including 47 in Peterborough, 22 in Hastings Prince Edward (7 in Quinte West, 11 in Belleville, 2 in Prince Edward County, and 2 in Tyendinaga & Deseronto), 21 in Kawartha Lakes, 19 in Northumberland, and 2 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 318 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (266 resolved with 5 deaths), 245 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (205 resolved with 32 deaths), 223 in Northumberland County (210 resolved with 2 deaths), 29 in Haliburton County (27 resolved with no deaths), and 273 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (246 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on December 27.

Province-wide, there have been 175,908 confirmed cases, an increase of 2,553 from yesterday, with 151,562 cases resolved (86.2% of all cases), an increase of 2,233 from yesterday. There have been 4,455 deaths, an increase of 41 from yesterday, with 2,726 deaths in long-term care homes, an increase of 18 from yesterday. The number of hospitalizations has decreased by 11 to 864, but this total does not include data from more than 10% of hospitals. With 8 more patients with COVID-19 in ICUs reported today and 11 more yesterday, there are now 304 COVID-19 ICU patients in Ontario. With 4 fewer COVID-19 patients on ventilators reported today but 17 more reported yesterday, there are now 207 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. A total of 7,818,990 tests have been completed, an increase of 34,112 from yesterday, with 32,850 tests under investigation, an increase of 6,397 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, excluding statutory holidays. These numbers include December 28 and 29.

Confirmed positive: 318 (3 new cases reported on December 29, but a net decrease of 2 cases in total)
Active cases: 47 (decrease of 6)
Close contacts: 213 (decrease of 9)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Resolved: 266 (increase of 4)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 13 (no change)**
Total tests completed: Over 39,000 (increase of 100)
Institutional outbreaks: Riverview Manor in Peterborough, Unidentified congregate living setting (no change)

*As of December 29, Peterborough Regional Health Centre reports 1 patient with COVID-19 on an inpatient unit and 1 patient with COVID-19 in the ICU (transferred from another hospital).

 

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. These numbers include December 28 and 29.

Confirmed positive: 505, including 245 in Kawartha Lakes, 231 in Northumberland, 29 in Haliburton (increase of 15 over the past 2 days, including 6 in Kawartha Lakes, 8 in Northumberland, 1 in Haliburton)*
Active cases: 42, including 21 in Kawartha Lakes, 19 in Northumberland, and 2 in Haliburton (net decrease of 13)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
High-risk contacts: 226, including 35 in Kawartha Lakes, 159 in Northumberland, and 3 in Haliburton (net decrease of 69)**
Hospitalizations (total to date): 19, including 12 in Kawartha Lakes, 6 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (increase of 1 in Kawartha Lakes)
Deaths: 34 (increase of 1, in Northumberland)
Resolved: 442, including 205 in Kawartha Lakes, 210 in Northumberland, 27 in Haliburton (increase of 28 over the past 2 days, including 3 in Kawartha Lakes and 25 in Northumberland)
Institutional outbreaks: Golden Plough Lodge in Cobourg (no change)

*On December 28, 5 new cases were reported in Kawartha Lakes, 2 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton. On December 29, 5 new cases were reported in Northumberland and 2 in Kawartha Lakes.

**This total includes 28 high-risk contacts directly followed up through the Public Health Ontario contact tracing process that are missing the contacts’ county.

 

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. These numbers are from December 28 and 29.

Confirmed positive: 273 (increase of 8 over the past 2 days)
Active cases: 22 (increase of 1)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Currently hospitalized: 3 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU: 0 (no change)
Currently hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator (total to date): 0 (no change)
Resolved: 246 (increase of 7 over the past 2 days)
Swabs completed: 26,719 (increase of 354 over the past 2 days)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

December 28

Confirmed positive: 175,908 (increase of 2,553)
Resolved: 151,562 (increase of 2,233, 86.2% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 864 (decrease of 11)*
Hospitalized and in ICU: 304 (increase of 8)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 207 (decrease of 4)
Deaths: 4,455 (increase of 41)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 2,726 (increase of 18)
Total tests completed: 7,818,990 (increase of 34,112)
Tests under investigation: 32,850 (increase of 6,397)

December 27

Confirmed positive: 173,355 (increase of 1,939)
Resolved: 149,329 (increase of 2,151, 86.1% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 875 (increase of 52)*
Hospitalized and in ICU: 296 (increase of 11)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 211 (increase of 17)
Deaths: 4,414 (increase of 37)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 2,708 (increase of 12)
Total tests completed: 7,784,878 (increase of 39,565)
Tests under investigation: 26,453 (decrease of 825)

*This total excludes data from more than 10% of hospitals.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 28 - December 28, 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 cases in Ontario from November 28 – December 28, 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 28 - December 28, 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 28 – December 28, 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 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Ontario from November 28 - December 28, 2020. The red line is the daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of hospitalizations, the purple line is the daily number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs, and the dotted orange line is a five-day moving average of is a five-day moving average of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions in Ontario from November 28 – December 28, 2020. The red line is the daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of hospitalizations, the purple line is the daily number of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs, and the dotted orange line is a five-day moving average of is a five-day moving average of patients with COVID-19 in ICUs. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 deaths in Ontario from November 28 - December 28, 2020. The red line is the cumulative number of daily deaths, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of daily deaths. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)
COVID-19 deaths in Ontario from November 28 – December 28, 2020. The red line is the cumulative number of daily deaths, and the dotted green line is a five-day moving average of daily deaths. (Graphic: kawarthaNOW.com)

 

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