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New COVID cases drop back from Monday’s record total

After Monday’s alarming report of 700 new COVID cases, the overnight numbers showed some improvement. Ontario is reporting 554 cases of COVID19 as nearly 38,400 tests were completed. Locally, there are 251 new cases in Toronto with 106 in Ottawa, 79 in Peel and 43 in York Region. Meaning 86 percent of the new cases are in the four COVID hot spots. 62% of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40. Hamilton reported 38new cases as of yesterday with two persons in hospital. Halton Region reported 14 new cases as of yesterday.

Meanwhile some Ontario physicians warn the province’s plan to ramp up efforts to prevent new infections will fall short unless further measures are taken to clamp down on community spread.

The ongoing increase throughout September comes as Premier Doug Ford’s government rolls out a plan to boost testing capacity to 50,000 daily tests, while bringing on 1,000 more staff to manage cases and trace their contacts. “We had an opportunity in the summer when case counts were low to really fine-tune our system around test, trace and isolate,” Dr. Tara Kiran, a Toronto-based researcher and family phsician told CBC news. “I think the recent spike in numbers shows we weren’t ready.”

In Toronto, the epicentre of Ontario’s second surge of cases, testing and contact-tracing efforts are already lagging behind on several fronts. On average, more than half of people getting tested don’t see their result for two days or more, while close to half who do wind up testing positive aren’t being reached by contact tracers within 24 hours, the latest Toronto Public Health data shows.

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