Ontario appears to be benefiting from our seven weeks of relative lockdown, as the number of new COVID-19 cases announced in the past 24 hours is yet again relatively low.
The province has seen an increase of 387 coronavirus patients since 10:30 a.m. on May 4, which equates to a rise of only 2.2 per cent overnight.
Though this isn’t quite as few as the 370 new cases confirmed yesterday — the lowest number in four weeks — it is pretty darn close, and definitely signifies the downward trend that officials have been talking about and hoping for, especially given Ontario’s recently ramped up testing, which usually leads to spikes in positive results.
Per cent positivity among those tested is also falling, now at less than 5 per cent. And even more hopeful is the number of cases that are now considered to be completely resolved in the province: 69.8 per cent.
Of the 18,310 cases of the infectious disease that we’ve had so far, 12,779 patients are now recovered, while 1,361 have died (a mortality rate of 7.4 per cent). A total of 12.2 per cent of patients have been sick enough to require hospitalization.
Sadly, an additional 61 of those ill have passed away in the last 24 hours, which is thankfully a notable drop from the 84 fatalities announced yesterday. Also, two fewer patients are in the ICU since the morning of May 4 (223, down from 225) and nine fewer require the use of a ventilator (166, down from 175).
Coronavirus patient demographics in Ontario still indicate that more women than men are afflicted (57.5 per cent vs. 41.7 per cent), that most have been residents over 60 years of age (44 per cent) and that most cases have been in the Greater Toronto Area (60.4 per cent), including the recent outbreak at Toronto Western Hospital.
Healthcare workers have comprised 15.8 per cent of cases, while long-term care facilities continue to be a significant source of outbreaks and fatalities, with more than 4,000 confirmed cases (about 2,700 in residents and somewhere between 1,340 and 1,613 in staff, depending on whether numbers are taken from the Ministry of Long-Term Care or Public Health Ontario).
The Ministry of LTC is citing 1,003 deaths among retirement home residents, which would mean a 36.6 per cent mortality rate in these environments, by their data. Fewer than five staff have died.
Though news that includes infections and deaths can never be considered good, objectively, the province is faring better than we were earlier on in the pandemic.
With testing better than it has been, at a rate of more than 10,000 tests per day for a total of 352,714 (slightly below Premier Doug Ford’s target) and smarter testing in the works, epidemiologists are learning more about the virus and its spread in Ontario.
As Ford has said in recent days, if current social distancing and non-essential business restrictions are kept in place for just a little while longer and we stay on the track we’re on, things will be returning to normal (albeit, a new version of normal) sooner than most had initially anticipated.