In Ontario, 89 dead in past day, 326 dead since Jan 1 as COVID-19 surges higher

Ontario's public health testing yesterday identified a record 3,519 people with COVID-19 as 89 people died, morgues fill, ICUs overflow, long-term care workers get sick and schools are scheduled to reopen.

CNC News

Ontario on Wednesday had its deadliest day yet since the pandemic started as 89 people were killed by the virus. Since January 1, 326 people have died in Ontario COVID-19.

Ontario’s public health testing identified 3,519 people with COVID-19 infection on Wednesday, a record high suggesting the virus causing COVID-19 is continuing to rapidly spread.

Wednesday’s tests were 6.1 per cent positive, continuing a spike in test positives that emerged in late December after holding at about four per cent throughout most of November and December.

With 363 people in ICUs, hospitals are cancelling surgeries. On Tuesday, 1,472 people were in hospital suffering from symptoms of their COVID-19 infections.

Two Ontario cities have overfull morgues. A field hospital was yesterday opened in Burlington to take pressure off hospitals.

In Ontario’s 633 long-term care homes, 218 have an outbreak and 1,258 residents and 1,320 staff are fighting infections. Yesterday came news of a second long-term care worker to die this year. Maureen Ambersley had worked for 16 years as a nurse at a Mississauga Extendicare home, according the Service Employees International Union.

The toll on long-term care workers has left many homes short staffed. At the Tendercare Living Centre in Toronto, where 72 residents have died, families have said they are unable to get in contact with anyone inside the home to determine the condition of their loved ones. However, Minister of Long-Term Care Merillee Fullerton has said the situation at Tendercare is under control.

The Ontario government imposed stricter public health rules on December 26. Yesterday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he would wait and see if those steps were having an impact. At a press conference this morning, Ford said there would be an announcement about schools in the afternoon. Several media outlets have reported that sources within the Conservative government have told them schools will not return on Monday as scheduled.

The province’s tracing capacity largely failed in early October due to the strain of new cases running at around 500 and 600 per day. As a result, there is no comprehensive data on how infections are being transmitted.

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