Ontario reports fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases for 6th straight day

Ontario reported fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases on Saturday morning for a sixth straight day.

The province recorded 70 new cases, a number that represents a 0.2 per cent increase, according to Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott.

A total of 107 cases are considered resolved.

On Friday, Ontario's network of labs processed more than 26,000 tests.

The number of people in hospital and admitted to intensive care units declined, while the number of patients on ventilators remained stable, Elliott said.

There are 53 people in hospital with COVID-19. A total of 27 are in intensive care units, and of those, 12 are on ventilators.

Twenty-nine out of the province's 34 public health units reported five or fewer cases on Saturday, with 15 reporting no new cases at all.

A total of 2,784 people have died after contracting the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

According to a daily epidemiological summary of COVID-19 in Ontario, from Jan. 15 to Aug. 7, there have been 1,799 deaths among residents of long-term care homes and eight among health care workers.

Total number of cases in Ontario nears 40,000

The province has had a cumulative total of 39,967 cases, with 36,131 marked as resolved.

According to the daily epidemiological summary, 14,235 of all cumulative cases in Ontario have been in Toronto, while 6,665 have been in Peel Region.

Evan Mitsui/CBC
Evan Mitsui/CBC

Ottawa Public Health concerned about cost of COVID-19

Ottawa Public Health (OPH), meanwhile, is expressing concern that COVID-19 could be taking resources away from its other day-to-day work, such as vaccinating schoolchildren and running sexual health clinics.

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa medical officer of health, said the agency has had to cut back on some programs, such as dental screenings that keep people out of emergency rooms.

"We need more capacity to be able to catch up on some of these core services," Etches said recently.

Many OPH staff have been shifted to tracing the contacts of those infected by the virus.

Stu Mills/CBC
Stu Mills/CBC

Other programs, such as groups for mothers or seniors, are affected simply because of the need to ensure physical distancing. Etches said she is also worried the agency missed a round of meningitis vaccinations that usually takes place in schools.

"We're struggling with how to deal with the immunization process," Coun. Keith Egli, chair of the Ottawa board of health, said. "That's top of mind."

Not only are there routine childhood vaccinations typically administered in school gyms to consider, but OPH will also have to find ways to encourage people to get their flu shots this fall, Egli said. Roving flu clinics may prove difficult.

Egli projects that OPH will have an $8 million to $12 million deficit by year's end. The province has announced $100 million to help public health units monitor, test and trace the virus, but Ottawa still doesn't know its allocation.

The health ministry says the process for agencies to seek reimbursement is "forthcoming."