Ontario reports 2,964 new COVID-19 cases and 25 more deaths

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Ontario reported 2,964 new COVID-19 cases and 25 additional deaths on Sunday.

The provincial health ministry said Sunday's figure includes 786 cases in Toronto, 346 in Peel Region, 187 in Windsor-Essex, 308 in York Region, 172 in Hamilton and 197 in Durham Region.

There are currently 23,611 active infections of the novel coronavirus across the province.

According to the ministry, the 25 additional COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday bring the provincial death toll to 4,650.

The province's network of labs has processed a total of 49,803 tests since the last update, and 5.6 per cent came back positive.

There has been an average increase of 2,792 new cases per day over the past week and Ontario set a new single-day record of 3,363 cases on Saturday.

The seven-day average is now at a record-high of 2,792.

There are also 998 people in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19, down by five from the previous day.

Of that number, 329 are being treated in intensive care units and 228 are breathing with the help of ventilators.

A total of 162,701 COVID-19 cases have been marked as resolved. The province's cumulative number of cases, or total since the pandemic began, is now 190,962.

Students to learn remotely for 1st week of January

Education Minister Stephen Lecce reminded parents and guardians in a letter on Sunday that students in public elementary schools in Ontario will learn remotely for the first week of January, but will return to in-person learning on Jan. 11.

Students in secondary schools enrolled in in-person learning in northern public health units will return to school on that same day.

Students in secondary schools enrolled in in-person learning in the rest of the province are set to return to classes on Jan. 25.

Lecce claimed in the letter, which was linked to a tweet on Sunday, that schools are safe.

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

"I want to reassure parents that according to the province's leading doctors, our schools are safe, with eight out of 10 schools in this province having no cases of COVID-19 and based on board reporting, 99.64 per cent of students have not reported a case of COVID-19," Lecce said in the letter.

207 long-term care homes with outbreaks

The province said 207 long-term care homes in Ontario are reporting outbreaks.

A total of 1,140 long-term care residents and 1,130 staff have active COVID-19, according to the ministry.

To date, there have been 2,781 total resident deaths at long-term care homes.