Ontario reports 851 new COVID-19 cases, 7-day average reaches new record high

Premier Doug Ford is scheduled to hold a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. ET at Queen’s Park. Ford’s office says he will be joined by the ministers of health and finance.

You can watch it live in this story.

Ontario reported another 851 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, after two consecutive days of record-breaking new daily cases counts. 

Today’s figure comes as the province’s labs completed 28,652 tests for the novel coronavirus, while about 32,000 samples were added to the queue to be processed. Ontario currently has capacity for about 45,000 tests to be collected each day. Throughout the pandemic, testing levels have tended to drop off considerably on weekends. 

The seven-day average of new daily cases, a measure that helps limit noise in the data to provide a clearer view of longer-term trends, continued its steady upward climb and is now at an all-time high of about 878. 

Newly confirmed cases in today’s update are mostly concentrated in four public health units:

  • Toronto: 281
  • Peel Region: 215
  • York Region: 90
  • Ottawa: 76

Meanwhile, no decision is coming from the Ontario government today on whether Halton and Durham regions will face stricter COVID-19 restrictions, Premier Doug Ford’s office said.

Ford had suggested on Friday that health officials would look at the caseload in Halton and Durham regions over the weekend to determine whether they need to roll back to a modified Stage 2 of the province’s pandemic recovery plan, and that an announcement could come as early as today. 

Ottawa, Toronto and Peel and York regions have all seen the restrictions reimposed over the last several weeks as cases of the novel coronavirus soar within their borders.

But politicians in Halton urged the province not to lump them in with neighbouring Peel Region, saying there aren’t as many COVID-19 cases in the area as elsewhere in the province.

The province broke its record for the most daily COVID-19 cases both days this weekend, recording 978 cases on Saturday and 1,042 on Sunday.

Later today at a speech before the Canadian Chamber of Commerce scheduled for 2:15 p.m., Ford is expected to reveal when his government will unveil its annual budget.

The budget was initially supposed to be rolled out in late March, but was postponed as the province shifted its attention to curbing the spread of COVID-19

Finance Minister Rod Phillips said in August that the government expected a budget deficit of at least $38.5-billion for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

View original article here Source