Ontario has recorded 8,117 cases of COVID-19, with 320 deaths

Ontario has passed the 8,000 mark of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, a tenfold increase since this day last month when social distancing and stay-at-home measures were just beginning.

A Star compilation of the latest reports from health units across the province as of 11 a.m. Monday indicated an increase of 416 cases or 5.4 per cent to 8,117 with 320 dead, up six from Sunday morning.

Ministry of Health statistics gathered as of 4 p.m. Sunday pointed to more outbreaks in long-term care homes, bringing the new total to 89, with outbreaks in 24 hospitals as well.

There were at least 741 cases in nursing homes and at least 120 deaths to date as the sector continues to be hit hard with residents living in close quarters.

More than 430 nursing home staff members have been infected with COVID-19, accounting for almost half the 954 health care workers who have contracted the new coronavirus thus far.

In a sign how long Ontarians requiring more serious care are staying in hospital, there have been a total of 954 people admitted. As of Sunday afternoon, there were still 760 hospitalized, including 263 in intensive care with 203 of them on ventilators to breathe.

Overall, about half the known COVID-19 cases in Ontario are in the Greater Toronto Area and 3,359 people in total have recovered.

It’s not known how many others have been infected with the virus since the first case was revealed in late January because people with mild symptoms have not been tested, meaning there are likely thousands more people with the coronavirus who have gone undetected.

The cause of infection in 46 per cent of Ontario’s confirmed cases remains a mystery because overburdened public health units are having trouble keeping up with their investigations and contract tracing.

Of the known cases, 22 per caught the virus through transmission in the community, 16.4 per cent from close contact with a confirmed case and 15 per cent from travel, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Just over 108,000 Ontarians have been tested.

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Rob Ferguson

TORONTO STAR