Ontario breaks COVID-19 record with 2,447 new infections, confirms 49 more deaths

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TORONTO -- Ontario has confirmed 49 more COVID-19-related deaths and broken a record for the highest number of cases reported in a single day with 2,447 new infections.

Thursday's record-breaking case count marks the 10th straight day the province has recorded more than 2,100 new infections.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,306.

Ontario’s previous record for highest daily case count was seen one week ago when 2,432 COVID-19 infections were recorded on Dec. 17.

There were 64,592 tests for the disease completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period.

The province’s test positivity rate now stands at about 3.7 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases recorded on Thursday, 646 are in Toronto, 502 are in Peel Region, 263 are in York Region, 173 are in Windsor-Essex County, and 101 are in Hamilton.

Other areas that recorded more than 50 cases of the disease on Thursday include Ottawa (77), Durham Region (92), Middlesex-London (67), Halton Region (55), Niagara Region (93), Waterloo Region (82), and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (63).

Thursday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 165,110, including deaths and recoveries.

The province recorded the highest number of new COVID-19-related deaths in the second wave of the pandemic on Thursday. The previous record was set on Dec. 11 when 45 deaths were confirmed. Before that, the last time the province’s single day death toll climbed that high was June 4.

With the 49 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Thursday, the province’s death toll is now 4,278. Of the deaths confirmed Thursday, 35 were residents of long-term care homes.

Health officials deemed 2,013 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Thursday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 141,023.

There are currently 19,809 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

According to the province, there are at least 967 patients infected with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Of those patients, 277 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 176 of those 277 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

At this time last week, there were 919 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals and 263 of those patients were in the ICU.

COVID-19 modelling released by the province on Monday shows that the number of infected patients in Ontario’s ICUs will surpass 300 within the next 10 days in all possible scenarios. The modelling also stated that that number could surpass 1,500 by mid-January under the worst-case scenario.

The province has said that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, medical care not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.

In an effort to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the rest of the province will join Toronto, Peel Region, York Region, Windsor-Essex, and Hamilton in lockdown on Boxing Day.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26, lockdown measures ordered by the provincial government will last until Jan. 23 in the southern parts of the province (south of Sudbury) and until Jan. 9 in the northern parts.