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New daily COVID-19 cases in Ontario continue to decline amid record testing

Ontario reported 182 additional cases of COVID-19 — the lowest number of new cases on any day since March 28 — and another record number of tests.

The 0.6 per cent increase brings the total number of cases in the province to 31,726. A full 82.5 per cent of those are resolved, including another 302 marked resolved yesterday.

The five-day rolling average of new daily cases, a measure that helps smooth peaks and valleys in data, has been in consistent decline since June 4.

Twenty-eight of Ontario’s 34 public health units reporting five or fewer new cases, and 17 of those reported no new cases at all. Ninety of today’s additional cases are in Toronto.

There are now 3,041 active COVID-19 cases province-wide, the fewest since new daily cases started to rise again in mid-May. The Greater Toronto Area accounts for about 75 per cent of all current active cases.

Further, the province’s network of labs processed 28,335 tests for the novel coronavirus yesterday, by far the most in any 24-hour period since the outbreak began in late January. Some 18,512 test samples are currently waiting to be processed, meaning that more than 30,000 were added to the queue yesterday.

The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 continued its steady three-week decline and currently sits at 527, the fewest since April 5. Those being treated in intensive care units and with ventilators both decreased, as well.

Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by 11 to 2,498 — the fourth straight day with fewer than 15 new deaths. A CBC News count based on data from regional public health, which avoids lag times in reporting, puts the real current death toll as of last evening at 2,543.

About 78.5 per cent of all COVID-19-linked deaths in the province were residents of long-term care homes. Public health officials are tracking 75 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Earlier today, Sienna Senior Living, a private long-term care provider whose homes have seen dozens of deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, said its president and CEO resigned. The company announced that Lois Cormack is leaving her job, effective immediately.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to hold his daily COVID-19 briefing at 1 p.m. ET. Ford’s office says he will be joined by Health Minister Christine Elliott and Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

Meanwhile, most Ontario regions outside the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) will be allowed to reopen more businesses today, with some asking GTA residents to stay away.

The second stage of the province’s reopening includes restaurant patios, hair salons and swimming pools.

The limit on social gatherings will increase from five to 10 provincewide, but people must still stay two metres away from anyone outside their own household.

Child-care centres across Ontario will also be allowed to reopen, but it’s not yet clear how many will be able to implement new pandemic safety measures immediately.

The current pandemic restrictions will stay in place for the GTHA, which have a high concentration of COVID-19 cases, while border regions such as Windsor-Essex, Lambton County and Niagara, as well as Haldimand-Norfolk — which has seen an outbreak among migrant workers — will also not move to Stage 2 today.

CBC

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