Ontario reports 550 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday

Ontario is reporting 550 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the provincial tally to 5,276.

It’s the largest single-day increase so far.

The number includes 21 more deaths, increasing the total number of deaths in the province to 174.

The number of people in hospital has dropped slightly since Tuesday, from 614 to 605.

The province says more patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Of the 246 in the ICU, 195 are on a ventilator to assist with breathing.

The number of outbreaks reported at long-term care homes has increased from 51 to 58.

The province has tested a total of 84,601 residents for the virus and 2,074 cases have been resolved.

A backlog of pending tests rose from 691 to more than 1,100.

The government says Ontario’s capacity is actually at 13,000 tests per day now, but only about 3,500 are being submitted through assessment centres.

As of Thursday, Niagara Region was reporting 162 cases of the virus, Halton Region had 169 and Hamilton confirmed 183 cases.