Ontario confirms lowest COVID-19 case increase since March but testing is still down
After a continuously alarming upward trend in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario in recent days, provincial health officials are reporting just 287 new cases today.
This marks a significant drop from daily numbers over the past week, most of which have topped 400. This is also the lowest daily increase since March 31, when just 260 new cases were reported.
The new number represents a 1.1 per cent increase from the previous report and brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario to 26,191.
The province has also confirmed 21 new deaths over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related deaths in Ontario to 2,123. Another 19,958 cases are now considered to be resolved.
A closer look at #COVIDー19 daily changes in #Ontario🎢— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) May 26, 2020
New cases: 287
New deaths: 21
New resolved: 260
Thicker line is 7 day moving average.#COVID19 #COVID19ON #covid19Canada #onhealth pic.twitter.com/Vaar7bCyF2
But despite the promisingly low new case number, testing in the province still appears to be lagging.
Only 9,875 tests were completed in Ontario yesterday, marking the ninth straight day where the province has missed its own benchmark of 16,000 tests per day. It's also a far cry from the 17,000 tests being administered daily in the province at the beginning of the month.
A total of 629,414 tests have been completed in Ontario since the pandemic first began, and 6,961 are currently under investigation.
#COVID19 testing in #Ontario🧪🇨🇦— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) May 26, 2020
-% positive 2.9% - (orange)
-Testing: 9875 today (red)
-Backlog: 6961 pending today (green)
Hope testing continues to ramp up!#onhealth #COVIDー19 #COVID19ON #CovidTesting pic.twitter.com/DYgUqx9V5x
Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly called for testing to be immediately ramped up throughout Ontario, though it remains unclear why exactly testing numbers have decreased so much in recent days.
The drop in testing coupled with the spike in new cases (which has been attributed to Mother's Day gatherings) has prompted concerns from experts, especially as Ontario just entered the first stage of reopening the economy.
But provincial health officials say they're carefully examining the impacts of allowing businesses and services to resume operations and won't hesitate to recommend reimplementing lockdown measures should the spike in cases continue — so here's hoping today's low number isn't just the result of minimal testing.
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