Ontario health officials reported 511 new COVID-19 infections Saturday, as well as 55 new deaths, bringing the province’s total case count including recoveries to 17,119.
Saturday’s tally was significantly higher than the 421 cases and 39 deaths reported on Friday, likely driven by a continued increase in the number of active COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes.
The province says that 1,176 people have died so far of novel coronavirus infection.
A count of reports by Ontario’s 34 local public health units on Saturday showed 1,225 deaths due to COVID-19.
For the second day in a row, the number of patients who have made a full recovery from the disease (565) exceeded the number of newly-confirmed cases.
More than two-thirds of all lab-confirmed cases in Ontario are now considered recovered.
“If we keep going the way we’re going, we’ll be able to get out of this a lot sooner than we thought we would take a couple of months ago,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford said of Saturday’s numbers.
Ontario labs completed 16,300 tests in the last 24 hours, down 200 from Friday, while another 12,829 specimens were under investigation.
The positivity rate in tests conducted in the last day was 3.1 per cent, well below the average of the last two weeks, which regularly exceeded five per cent.
All but 59 of the deaths confirmed so far have occurred in those aged 60 or older.
Seven occurred in patients aged 20 to 39 and 815 occurred in people aged 80 or older.
More than 2,500 healthcare workers have been infected with the virus since the outbreak reached Ontario in late January.
This represents close to 15 per cent of all infections in the province.
After a brief period of increase this week, the number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Ontario is dropping.
Nine-hundred and seventy-seven people were in hospital on Saturday with COVID-19 infections, down 40 from Friday.
Four fewer people were in intensive care, bringing the number down to 221 on Saturday.
Of those in intensive care, 154 were breathing with the help of a ventilator, down 21 from Friday.