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Over 600 new COVID cases in Ontario

Ontario is reporting 615 cases of #COVID19 as nearly 38,200 tests were completed. Locally, there are 289 new cases in Toronto, 88 in Peel and 81 in Ottawa. 58% of today’s cases are in people under the age of 40. There are 541 more resolved cases. There were five deaths recorded. Hospitalization rose by 7 to 176. There were 43 patients in ICU units. The province has said that up to 150 COVID patients can be accommodated in ICU units before the system starts to become overloaded. Hamilton reported 8 news cases yesterday.

The province has transitioned  to appointment-based testing at Ontario assessment centres  in order to provide certainty to patients as to when they can receive a test during the cold winter months. This will allow assessment centres to conduct enhanced screening to ensure adherence to the latest COVID guidelines.

As of yesterday  assessment centres discontinued walk-in testing services, so the province’s lab network can make significant progress in processing tests and to allow assessment centres the necessary time to reset, deep clean and ensure preparedness for the new appointment-based model.

The province will continue mobile testing and pop-up testing centres to reach vulnerable populations and provide targeted testing for long-term care, congregate care, and other vulnerable populations;

The number of pharmacies where people with no symptoms within provincial testing guidance can get tested will be expanded.

The province is also Implementing updated testing guidance for children to help parents determine when it is most appropriate for students, children and their families to seek a test for COVID-19.

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