Ontario reports record 2,923 COVID-19 cases as Ottawa requires air travellers to have negative tests

17 new cases in Peterborough, 4 in Hastings Prince Edward, 2 in Kawartha Lakes, and 1 in Northumberland

Canada's public safety and emergency preparedness minister Bill Blair speaking virtually at a media conference on December 30, 2020, when the federal government announced all air travellers entering Canada must prove they have had a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arriving in the country. (CPAC screenshot)
Canada's public safety and emergency preparedness minister Bill Blair speaking virtually at a media conference on December 30, 2020, when the federal government announced all air travellers entering Canada must prove they have had a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arriving in the country. (CPAC screenshot)

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

After reporting a record increase of 2,553 new cases yesterday, today Ontario is reporting a new record of 2,923 cases, with the seven-day average of daily cases across the province increasing by 74 to 2,310.

On the heels of intense criticism of Ontario finance minister Rod Phillips contravening provincial public health directives by taking a personal vacation to the Caribbean in December, the federal government announced today that all air travellers entering Canada must prove they have had a negative PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours before arriving in the country.

“We have implemented some of the strongest border measures in the world,” said Bill Blair, federal public safety and emergency preparedness minister, during a media conference. “Today, we want to reinforce a very simple but important message: we strongly advise against travel unless it is absolutely necessary. No government in Canada can prevent Canadians from travelling, but we want to be very clear — we strongly advise against all discretionary travel.”

The new requirement takes effect on January 7, 2021. Blair emphasized it does not replace the mandatory 14-day quarantine period when travellers enter the country.

“If you must travel, understand that upon your return to Canada, you must follow guidelines and quarantine for 14 days,” Blair said. “It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the law.”

In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 24 new cases to report and 19 additional cases resolved, with the number of active cases across the region increasing by 4 to 115.

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Most of today’s new cases are in Toronto (with another record increase of 998), Peel (441), York (408), Durham (158), Windsor-Essex (144), and Halton (114).

There are double-digit increases in Niagara (82), Hamilton (69), Waterloo (69), Ottawa (68), Middlesex-London (67), Simcoe Muskoka (65), Southwestern Public Health (46), Lambton (40), Brant (25), Chatham-Kent (21), Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (20), Huron Perth (17), Eastern Ontario Health Unit (16), and Leeds, Grenville & Lanark (12), with smaller increases in Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (8) and North Bay Parry Sound (6).

The remaining 12 health units are reporting 5 or fewer new cases, with 3 health units (all in northern Ontairo) reporting no new cases at all.

New infections continue to predominate in people 40 years of age and older, with 52% of today’s cases in that age group. The highest number of cases (1,039) remains among people ages 20-39, followed by 885 cases among people ages 40-59 and 458 cases among people ages 60-79. With 2,237 more cases resolved since yesterday, the percentage of resolved cases has decreased by 0.2% to 86.0%. The average positivity rate across Ontario has decreased by 1.3% to 8.4%, meaning that 84 out of every 1,000 tests performed were positive for COVID-19 on December 29.

Ontario is reporting 19 new COVID-19 deaths today, including 12 deaths in long-term care facilities. Hospitalizations have increased by 313 to 1,177, although this increase is from the 864 hospitalizations reported on December 28, which omitted data from more than 10% of Ontario hospitals and was likely higher than reported. With 19 more patients with COVID-19 in ICUs reported today, there are now 323 COVID-19 ICU patients in Ontario.

A total of 39,210 tests were completed yesterday, with the backlog of tests under investigation increasing by 22,105 to 54,955.

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 40 new cases in licensed child care settings, an increase of 11 since yesterday, with 10 cases among children and 30 cases among staff.

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In the greater Kawarthas region, there are 24 new cases to report, including 17 in Peterborough, 4 in Hastings Prince Edward (including 1 in North Hastings), 2 in Kawartha Lakes, 1 in Northumberland. There are no new cases in Haliburton. None of the new cases in licensed child care settings are in the greater Kawarthas region.

There is 1 new hospitalization in Kawartha Lakes and 1 new hospitalization in Northumberland.

An additional 19 cases have been resolved, including 7 in Hastings Prince Edward, 6 in Northumberland, 4 in Peterborough, and 2 in Kawartha Lakes.

There are currently 115 active cases in the greater Kawarthas region, an increase of 4 from yesterday, including 60 in Peterborough, 19 in Hastings Prince Edward (8 in Quinte West, 9 in Belleville, 1 in Prince Edward County, and 1 in North Hastings), 20 in Kawartha Lakes, 14 in Northumberland, and 2 in Haliburton.

Since the pandemic began in the greater Kawarthas region, there have been 335 confirmed positive cases in the Peterborough area (270 resolved with 5 deaths), 246 in the City of Kawartha Lakes (207 resolved with 32 deaths), 232 in Northumberland County (216 resolved with 2 deaths), 29 in Haliburton County (27 resolved with no deaths), and 277 in Hastings and Prince Edward counties (253 resolved with 5 deaths). The most recent death was reported in Northumberland on December 27.

Province-wide, there have been 178,831 confirmed cases, an increase of 2,923 from yesterday, with 153,799 cases resolved (86.0% of all cases), an increase of 2,237 from yesterday. There have been 4,474 deaths, an increase of 19 from yesterday, with 2,738 deaths in long-term care homes, an increase of 12 from yesterday. The number of hospitalizations has increased by 313 to 1,177, although this increase is from the 864 hospitalizations reported on December 28, which omitted data from more than 10% of Ontario hospitals and was likely higher than reported. With 19 more patients with COVID-19 in ICUs reported today, there are now 323 COVID-19 ICU patients in Ontario. With 3 fewer COVID-19 patients on ventilators reported today, there are now 204 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. A total of 7,858,200 tests have been completed, an increase of 39,210 from yesterday, with 54,955 tests under investigation, an increase of 22,105 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.

17 new cases
4 resolved
60 active cases

Confirmed positive: 335 (increase of 17)
Active cases: 60 (increase of 13)
Close contacts: 203 (decrease of 10)
Deaths: 5 (no change)
Resolved: 270 (increase of 4)
Hospitalizations (total to date): 14 (increase of 1)*
Total tests completed: Over 39,100 (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.

Confirmed positive: 507, including 246 in Kawartha Lakes, 232 in Northumberland, 29 in Haliburton (increase of 3, including 2 in Kawartha Lakes and 1 in Northumberland)*
Active cases: 36, including 20 in Kawartha Lakes, 14 in Northumberland, and 2 in Haliburton (decrease of 6, including 1 in Kawartha Lakes and 5 in Northumberland)
Probable cases: 0 (no change)
High-risk contacts: 236, including 42 in Kawartha Lakes, 163 in Northumberland, and 3 in Haliburton (net increase of 10)**
Hospitalizations (total to date): 21, including 13 in Kawartha Lakes, 7 in Northumberland, and 1 in Haliburton (increase of 2, including 1 in Kawartha Lakes and 1 in Northumberland)
Deaths: 34 (no change)
Resolved: 450, including 207 in Kawartha Lakes, 216 in Northumberland, 27 in Haliburton (increase of 8, including 2 in Kawartha Lakes and 6 in Northumberland)
Institutional outbreaks: Golden Plough Lodge in Cobourg (no change)

*The health unit states that total counts and counts for individual counties may fluctuate from previously reported counts as cases are transferred to or from the health unit based on case investigation details and routine data cleaning.

**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.

Confirmed positive: 277 (increase of 4)
Active cases: 19 (decrease of 3)
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: 253 (increase of 7)
Swabs completed: 26,745 (increase of 26)
Institutional outbreaks: None (no change)

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Province of Ontario

Confirmed positive: 178,831 (increase of 2,923)
Resolved: 153,799 (increase of 2,237, 86.0% of all cases)
Hospitalized: 1,177 (increase of 313)*
Hospitalized and in ICU: 323 (increase of 19)
Hospitalized and in ICU on ventilator: 204 (decrease of 3)
Deaths: 4,474 (increase of 19)
Deaths of residents in long-term care homes: 2,738 (increase of 12)
Total tests completed: 7,858,200 (increase of 39,210)
Tests under investigation: 54,955 (increase of 22,105)

*This increase is from the 864 hospitalizations reported on December 28, which omitted data from more than 10% of Ontario hospitals. It is likely the actual number of hospitalizations on December 28 was higher than reported.

COVID-19 cases in Ontario from November 29 - December 29, 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 29 – December 29, 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 29 - December 29, 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 29 – December 29, 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 29 - December 29, 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 29 – December 29, 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 29 - December 29, 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 29 – December 29, 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.

This story has been updated to include the date on which the new testing requirement for air travellers takes effect.