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COVID-19: Province's new case total jumps 13.3 per cent in single day; Ottawa records 7,000th case

A health worker inserts COVID-19 swab test tubes into a rack.
A health worker inserts COVID-19 swab test tubes into a rack.

Ontario has reported a 13.3 per cent, one-day increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the province, a disturbing development as Ontario Premier Doug Ford considers lifting restrictions in hotspots such as Ottawa.

According to figures released Saturday by Public Health Ontario, the number of confirmed cases in the province increased by 1,015 in the preceding 24-hour period.

It was the highest single-day increase since 1,042 new cases were reported Oct. 24.

Nine more people died from the respiratory virus, bringing Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll to 3,136.

In Ottawa, according to provincial stats, 94 more people were diagnosed with COVID-19, a modest increase from the 92 diagnosed one day earlier.

Ottawa Public Health reports its own statistics, however, and its numbers were considerably different. The public health unit reported 73 new cases in Ottawa on Saturday. While there are often differences between the Ontario Health numbers and those of Ottawa Public Health, they are not usually this far apart.

A spokesperson for Ottawa’s public health unit said the discrepancy reflected the province “catching up” on cases previously counted in Ottawa.
Kim Ou said occasional discrepancies occur because several steps are involved in the classification and reporting of individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. OPH counts individuals who have received positive lab tests, whereas the province reports only those cases that OPH has officially added to its database.

According to OPH, Ottawa has recorded its 7,000th case of COVID-19.

The OPH also reported 42 patients were hospitalized, four of them in ICU. The report listed 5,973 resolved cases.

There were two new outbreaks in health care facilities and one new community outbreak for a total of 43 ongoing outbreaks in congregate-living facilities, 19 outbreaks in child-care facilities and three ongoing community outbreaks.

Peel Region experienced the province’s fastest rise one-day rise in COVID-19 numbers with 282 newly diagnosed cases, up from 173.

New cases in health units in the Ottawa region: Eastern Ontario reported six new cases, while Renfrew County & District saw one . No new cases were reported in the previous 24 hours in Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington and Leeds, Grenville, Lanark district health units.

The latest numbers were published as government officials contemplated easing restrictions imposed in the provincial COVID-19 hotspots: Ottawa, Toronto and Peel Region.

On Friday, Premier Doug Ford said the public health restrictions imposed Oct. 10 were designed as a short-term answer to rising case counts in those regions.

“I truly believe if we didn’t make this decision … we would be having a different conversation today,” Ford told reporters. “We’d be having a conversation possibly like France or Spain.”

Spain, France and Germany have imposed national lockdowns because of soaring COVID-19 caseloads.

In Ontario, the government closed gyms and performing arts centres and banned indoor dining at restaurants and bars in the hot spots while also imposing new rules on the size of social gatherings. The restrictions were imposed for a 28-day period that’s scheduled to expire on Nov. 6.

The measures have angered some business owners, who say the restrictions unfairly target restaurants, bars and gyms without convincing evidence to back them.

A key factor in determining the extent to which restrictions will be eased will be the state of the province’s hospitals.

According to provincial statistics published Saturday, 320 people were in hospital with COVID-19, 73 of those in intensive care units. One day earlier, 312 people were in hospital with the same disease, 75 of those in ICUs.

Quebec

Quebec has recorded 1,064 new cases of COVID-19, the provincial government announced Saturday.

Montreal was the region that added the most infections — 233 — followed by the Montérégie (165) and Lanaudière (137).

The Outaouais reported 58 new cases, for a total of 2,479 since the pandemic began. There was one more death, bringing the regional toll to 43.

Fifteen new deaths were reported across Quebec: six occurred over the previous 24 hours, seven between Oct. 24 and 29 and two on unknown dates.

A total of 503 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Quebec on Saturday. That was 12 fewer than the previous day.

Among those in hospitals, 82 were in intensive care, an increase of one.

Quebec has recorded overall totals of 106,016 cases and 6,246 deaths.

National

As of 7 p.m. Friday, Canada had reported a total of 231,999 cases of COVID-19 with 10,110 deaths.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam continued to urge Canadians to be cautious in their Halloween activities.

-With files from Postmedia and The Canadian Press

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Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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