Slight increase in coronavirus cases reported in Ontario as economy starts to reopen

May 21 2020, 2:47 pm

The Province of Ontario confirms there are 31 more COVID-19 related deaths and 413 new cases, as of Thursday morning.

This marks a slight increase in new cases compared to Wednesday’s 390, but is lower than the spike seen with Tuesday’s 427.

The increase in cases comes after the province entered Stage 1 of its framework to reopen the economy on Tuesday, allowing certain businesses and recreational activities to reopen.

However, even though reopening the economy has begun, Premier Doug Ford’s government extended its emergency orders to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The emergency orders are currently in force until May 29.

According to the province, that includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.

There were 10,506 tests completed from the previous day. This is an increase from the 7,382 done on Wednesday and the 5,813 done on Tuesday.

To date, a total of 577,682 have been tested across Ontario.

The province’s total is now 24,187 but 76.5% of the cases have been resolved, with 18,509 patients recovered.

A total of 1,993 people have died from coronavirus in Ontario, and there are 5,051 cases currently under investigation.

According to the Public Health Ontario Daily Epidemiologic Summary (iPHIS), there are 216 outbreaks in long-term care homes, with 1,242 resident deaths. Around 19.3% of cases in all of Ontario come from these facilities.

However, the Ministry of Long-Term Care Daily Report says there have been 175 outbreaks reported in long-term care homes with 1,452 resident deaths.

Government of Ontario

According to Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario relies on local public health units to report on the coronavirus, both in the community and in long-term care homes, through iPHIS, in which there is a delay in the data being received.

At the same time, the Ministry of Long-Term Care has started collecting information about coronavirus in long-term care homes through its network of inspectors.

The Greater Toronto Area public health units account for more than half of the cases at 63.6%.

Of the total cases, 42.5% are male and 56.8% are female, with 42% of cases age 60 years and older.

To date, there are 984 hospitalized, with 155 in ICU, and 117 patients on ventilators.

Government of Ontario

The daily summary is based on data reported by the 34 public health units across Ontario and recorded in the province’s integrated Public Health Information System, according to the Ontario government.

iPHIS is the Ministry of Health’s disease reporting system where data is regularly updated, and where each daily summary is pulled at 4 pm the previous day.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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