The province set an all-time high for daily COVID-19 cases and a second wave peak for deaths on Thursday, as Ontario remains in a holding pattern ahead of the Boxing Day lockdown.
Provincial labs detected 2,447 new cases on Thursday, beating the previous record high set a week ago of 2,432.
“Locally, there are 646 new cases in Toronto, 502 in Peel, 263 in York Region and 173 in Windsor-Essex County,” Health Minister Christine Elliott wrote on Twitter.
Wednesday saw 2,408 infections while 2,202 were found on Tuesday.
Ontario’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,306.
Forty-nine more people died of novel coronavirus infection, bringing the provincial toll to 4,278. It’s the highest death toll reported in a single day in the province since May 12.
Thirty-five of the deaths reported Thursday involved residents of the long-term care system.
There have been 165,110 documented cases of infection in Ontario since the pandemic began, along with 141,000 recoveries.
Provincial labs processed more than 64,000 specimens in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of at least 3.7 per cent.
Meanwhile, hospitalizations declined from earlier in the week where they briefly eclipsed 1,000.
The Ministry of Health said there were 967 people in hospital due to COVID-19 on Thursday, with 277 in intensive care and 176 breathing with the help of a ventilator, ten fewer than on Wednesday.
The province enters a new round of lockdown restrictions on 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 26, which will involve a wider shutdown of non-essential retail, tighter occupancy restrictions on those stores still allowed to open, a voluntary self-isolation period for inter-provincial travelers and remote learning in January.