Ottawa, Peel and Toronto remain hotspots

Ottawa, Peel and Toronto remain hotspots -Milenio Stadium-GTA
A man crosses the street in Ottawa, one of three areas in Ontario that continue to account for the bulk of new COVID-19 infections. (Francis Ferland/CBC)


Ontario’s latest COVID-19 numbers are back in the triple digits on Thursday, with 118 new cases reported. 

Yesterday saw a brief dip, with 88 cases reported. The five days prior to that all saw case counts of more than 100.

At Thursday’s news conference, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, appeared unperturbed.

“So we keep seeing this up and above and around 100,” Williams said. “That’s not surprising.”

Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region remain the areas where the bulk of new infections are happening. Of the 118 new cases, 36 are in Toronto, 19 in Peel, and 22 are in Ottawa.

1 more death reported

Twenty-eight of Ontario’s 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases, while 18 of those 28 saw no new infections at all.

Williams said that the clusters of infections being found are “usually related to a workplace or a social gathering.”

Ontario has now seen a total of 41,813 confirmed cases of the virus since the outbreak began in late January.

Meanwhile, the number of tests being processed rose, from 22,000 yesterday to 28,600 on Thursday.

Ontario’s official COVID-19 death toll grew by one, and now sits at 2,803. A CBC News count based on data from public health units, a measure that avoids lag times in the provincial reporting system, puts the real toll at 2,840.

All of the figures used in this story are found in the Ministry of Health’s daily update, which includes data from up until 4 p.m. the previous day. The number of cases for any particular region on a given day may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit, which often avoid lag times in the provincial system.

Back to school looms

Meanwhile, preparations for September continue at a breakneck pace.

The province unveiled its outbreak plan for schools yesterday, including what teachers should do if a student displays COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, ‘forest schools’ are serving as an example for educators around Ontario as the province encourages outdoor education to minimize the chance of transmission.

Experts are also debating the most effective way to test children for COVID-19 — with some arguing that the nasal swab method could be inaccurate.

And, in remote northern Ontario First Nations, schools are resorting to phone and fax machines in an effort to keep students on track in areas that don’t have reliable Internet access.


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