Ontario reported a record 1,042 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, marking the first time cases have surpassed 1,000 a day since the outbreak began in late January.
The bulk of the new cases remain concentrated in the long-standing hot spots of Toronto, its neighbouring regions of York and Peel, and Ottawa.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said 309 new cases were in Toronto, followed by 289 in Peel Region, 117 in York Region and 80 in Ottawa.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of community, commercial and hospital labs processed nearly 38,800 test samples since its last update, the Health Ministry says.
Sunday’s count of new cases surpasses the previous high of 978, which was reported on Saturday.
The province’s seven-day average of new daily cases has also broken a new record for the second straight day. The figure has been trending steadily upward since a low in mid-August and now sits at 857.
Ontario also recorded seven new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus, bringing the province’s official COVID-19 death toll to 3,093.
Meanwhile, a total of 278 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19, including 79 in intensive care.
Some 54 people require ventilators, an increase of one from Saturday.
Ontario health officials released their own modelling projections two days later, predicting a similar surge in cases by mid-October.
Halton politicians make plea to stay in Stage 3
Meanwhile, politicians from a Toronto-area region facing the prospect of stricter public health measures pleaded for an exemption on Saturday, arguing the local COVID-19 caseload isn’t on par with numbers in other hot spots that drove Ontario’s total to a new single-day high.
The Ontario government moved Toronto, Ottawa, York Region and Peel Region back to a modified Stage 2 of the provincial pandemic recovery plan over the past few weeks, citing rising case numbers.
The province also raised the idea of tightening restrictions on the nearby region of Halton as well in the coming days.
But municipal and provincial politicians with ties to Halton, including members of the province’s governing Progressive Conservative Party, issued a letter on Saturday imploring public health officials to spare the region west of Toronto from widespread restrictions.
“There is no evidence to suggest that moving Halton to a modified Phase 2 will have any meaningful impact on reducing case counts,” reads the letter to Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams.
“One thing that is certain, is that many people and businesses cannot financially withstand another shutdown.”
13 regions see double-digit increases
Sunday’s data showed 31 new cases in Halton, an increase of 10 from Saturday.
A handful of other areas saw double-digit increases as well:
- Durham Region: 52.
- Niagara Region: 32.
- Waterloo Region: 21.
- Eastern Ontario: 17.
- Simcoe Muskoka: 16.
- Hamilton: 13.
- Windsor-Essex: 12.
- Middlesex-London: 10.