Ontario sees 5,839 new cases of COVID-19, 95 deaths over 2 days

Ontario is reporting a two-day total of 5,839 cases of new COVID-19 cases and 95 additional deaths linked to the illness.

The Ministry did not release COVID-19 daily figures on New Year’s Day.

The province saw 2,476 cases on Friday and 3,363 cases on Saturday. 

Saturday’s figure is a new single-day record for the province as the previous record was set on Thursday with 3,328 novel coronavirus cases.

Saturday’s numbers include 713 new cases in Peel, 700 in Toronto, 395 in York Region, 226 in Windsor-Essex County and 171 in Hamilton.

Friday’s numbers include 480 in Peel, 499 in Toronto, 200 in York Region , 175 in Windsor-Essex County and 111 in Hamilton.

A total of 61,401 tests were completed as of Saturday and 70, 570 the day before.

The seven-day average is now at 2,655.

The ministry of health noted that the increase in cases for Saturday may have been the result of over-reported numbers due to a “data issue” by one local public health unit.

“Due to a data issue, cases for Toronto Public Health were underreported on December 31 and overreported on January 1,” a spokesperson said on Saturday.

There are currently 1,003 patients in hospital with COVID–19. Of those, 322 are being treated in intensive care, the most at any time during the pandemic, and 220 require a ventilator to breathe.

The province’s death toll has now reached 4,626, with a combined 95 deaths reported in the last two days.

Calls to redeploy military to hard-hit facilities

A non-profit that represents health-care professionals and patients called Friday for military intervention to help control outbreaks of COVID-19 in Ontario’s long-term care homes.

Redeploying the Canadian Armed Forces to the hard-hit facilities is not the Ontario Health Coalition’s first choice, the group’s executive director said, but short-term options are scarce.

“The issue is that we’re in such an emergency,” Natalie Mehra said. “There are so many homes with outbreaks that are growing extremely quickly, the death counts are mounting, and the hospitals are overstretched now.”

Mehra said hospitals are treating a worrying number of patients, and some are experiencing outbreaks of their own.

On Saturday, an outbreak was declared at the Pembroke Regional Hospital after a second employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The outbreak has been contained to the emergency department, where a positive case was first identified on Dec. 27, according to a news release from the hospital. 

The hospital said no patients have been identified as high-risk contacts of the two staff members. 

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