Province continues record-breaking streak of COVID-19 cases

OTTAWA – Another day another new high in new COVID-19 cases for Ontario.

Continuing its streak of breaking daily COVID-19 case records for the third day in a row, Ontario is reporting new daily cases in the 3,000s. Today (Dec. 31) the province reported more than 3,300 new cases.

According to Ottawa Public Health (OPH), there are 63 new cases in the capital. The province initially reported 194 new cases of the virus in Ottawa on Thursday, however it is not immediately known what has caused the difference in cases.

There are currently 483 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, with 11 residents in hospital. Four patients are in intensive care.

Ottawa isn’t recording any new deaths for Thursday. There have been 9,929 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa throughout the pandemic, including 392 deaths. There are 9,054 cases considered resolved.

The province is reporting 56 new deaths, which comes out to be almost a 195 per cent increase from Wednesday when 19 deaths were reported.

The death toll for Ontario now stands at 4,530.

Ontario completed 63,858 tests since Wednesday (Dec. 30), which is about a 63 per cent increase compared to Wednesday’s report. Among those, 5.7 per cent of the tests that were processed were positive for the virus — a 32 per cent drop from yesterday.

However, 2,213 cases have been resolved since Wednesday, bringing that tally to 156,012.

Teens aged 14 to 16 saw a jump of 136 new cases since yesterday, while kids ages nine to 13 recorded 123 new cases. Children ages four to eight have 67 new patients.

The biggest jump in case numbers, however, are among the 20 to 29 cohort with 1,123 new cases, followed by those ages 40 to 59 with 1,037 new cases.

Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches anticipates the city will need to stay within the 28-lockdown right until the end because of Ottawa’s rising case counts.

The hope of ending the 28-day lockdown early in 14 days is most likely not going to happen, Dr. Vera Etches said in a press conference yesterday (Dec. 30).

She also predicts those numbers will continue to climb, thanks to holiday gatherings.

“I think we’re seeing the beginning of an upturn and it’s going to take some time before we reach that peak again,” Etches said. “The increase we’re seeing now is from people’s activity in mid-December — that was before people were getting together before the holidays, so I do think we’re going to enter a period of high numbers in early January.”

With this rise Ottawa is seeing now, Etches says the city is on the brink of entering the red zone.

“We’re tipped into just the very bottom of the red level of the rate of COVID-19 in our community,” she said. “That’s hard to turn around quickly — that usually takes a couple of weeks.”

She does say Ottawa can turn it around, but residents will need to be patient before they see any real progress.