TORONTO — Ontario reported 347 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, increasing the provincial total by 2.3 per cent — the lowest growth rate in weeks.

The province also recorded 45 more deaths, though a separate long-term care database showed an increase of 70 deaths in those facilities in the previous day.

Ontario has now seen 15,728 cases, with 996 deaths, and 9,612 resolved cases — more than 60 per cent of the total.

The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 rose, though the amount of people in intensive care and on ventilators decreased slightly.

Under the province’s reopening framework, the chief medical officer is looking for a consistent, two-to-four-week decrease in the number of new cases as well as declining hospitalizations before advising moving to the first stage.

In long-term care, there have now been 775 deaths, 2,632 confirmed cases in residents and 1,361 confirmed cases in staff members. There are 159 homes reported to have active outbreaks.

About 45 per cent of all of the long-term care deaths have happened in just 11 particularly hard-hit homes.

The most up-to-date information on retirement homes — which comes from a third provincial source — is that there are also 56 outbreaks in retirement homes, with 588 cases and 114 deaths.

Ontario reported doing 11,554 tests in the previous 24 hours and has said it will do 14,000 tests daily by today — a number that would be reflected in Thursday’s data.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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