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Ontario reports record number of new COVID-19 cases with more than 16,700 infections

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WATCH ABOVE: Citing the need to reserve testing for only the most vulnerable residents, Ontario is now restricting access to COVID-19 testing – Dec 30, 2021

Ontario is reporting more than 16,700 new COVID-19 cases Friday.

There were 16,713 new infections reported, setting a single-day record for COVID-19 cases in Ontario since the pandemic began. There have now been 756,361 confirmed cases in Ontario.

Friday’s report broke a previous record set Thursday of 13,807 cases.

Fifteen additional virus-related deaths were also announced on Dec. 31, bringing the provincial death toll to 10,194.

Read more: Ontario changes PCR COVID testing eligibility, isolation reduced for fully vaccinated to 5 days

There are 205 people in intensive care due to COVID-19, which is an increase of five compared with Thursday. Of those, 104 are on a ventilator, which is unchanged.

There are 1,144 people in hospital with COVID-19, which is up by 179.

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The total number of resolved COVID-19 cases in Ontario stands at 647,345, marking an increase of 4,630.

Ontario completed 75,093 additional tests. The positivity rate stands at 29.8 per cent. There are 106,173 tests still being processed.

There were 195,809 additional COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Ontario on Thursday.

New testing requirements come into effect

The government announced on Thursday that starting Friday, PCR testing is only recommended for symptomatic people who are hospitalized, in long-term care or retirement homes, health-care workers, First Nations, or students and staff, among other high-risk groups.

It is no longer recommended that asymptomatic individuals get a PCR test, except for those in high-risk settings. Those in the general public who have mild symptoms are also being advised to not seek testing.

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The move came as the province’s testing system became strained with high demand amid the Omicron surge.

It means that in the coming days, daily case counts in Ontario will be less accurate in displaying a true representation of the virus’s spread in the community.

— with files from Gabby Rodrigues

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