Ontario reports 459 new COVID-19 cases and a record 86 more deaths

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TORONTO — Ontario reported 459 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, and 86 more deaths — the largest daily total so far.

The province has now seen 16,187 cases, an increase of 2.9 per cent over the previous day. That’s higher than the 2.3 per cent growth rate reported Wednesday, as the province looks for a consistent two-to-four weeks of declines before restarting the economy.

The case total includes 1,082 deaths and 10,205 resolved cases — 63 per cent.

Figures on COVID-19’s impact in long-term care homes, which come from a separate database than the provincial numbers, show 60 more resident deaths in the past day for a total of 835.

There are now outbreaks at 163 long-term care homes, up from 159 on Wednesday.

Ontario announced Thursday it is now allowing hospitals to discharge patients into long-term care homes, after transfers were paused on April 16.

People can be readmitted to their long-term care homes if they have tested negative for COVID-19, that facility does not have an active outbreak, and they will be isolated for 14 days.

There were 12,928 COVID-19 tests completed in the province on Wednesday, despite a pledge from the province to reach 14,000 tests a day by then. The government had previously promised to reach 18,900 tests a day by mid-April.

Hospitalizations are up from 977 people to 999, though the numbers of people in intensive care and on ventilators declined for a fourth straight day.