Fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in almost a week.
The 975 infections logged Tuesday mark a decrease from Monday’s total when 1,058 cases were recorded.
This pushes Ontario's lab-confirmed COVID-19 case total to 295,119, including 6,884 deaths and 277,939 recoveries.
Twelve of those deaths occurred in the last 24 hours.
With only 25,979 tests processed in the previous day, the province said that Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 4.2 per cent. The province has said that labs have the capacity to process up to 70,000 swabs per day.
The seven-day average for number of cases reported is 1,050, up slightly form the 1,038 reported a week ago today.
There are currently 10,296 active cases of the novel coronavirus across Ontario.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the infections reported Tuesday were found in just three regions.
The province reported that Toronto logged 343 cases while Peel and York regions added 186 and 89 cases, respectively.
York Region moved into the red level of the province’s colour-coded reopening framework Monday after nearly two months of operating under a lockdown.
The move gave non-essential businesses, like restaurants and gyms, the green light to reopen their doors with capacity limits in place.
Meanwhile, the stay-at-home order remains in effect for Toronto and Peel Region until at least March 8 due to high COVID-19 case numbers in those areas.
Right now, there are 718 patients in an Ontario hospital with COVID-19. Of those patients, 283 are being treated in an intensive care unit and 186 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
COVID-19 variants in Ontario
While the total number of confirmed COVID-19 variants in Ontario remains unchanged from Monday’s report of 400, the province’s top doctors revealed yesterday that there are actually thousands of specimens that have screened positive for a variant of concern.
Health officials told reporters that there are exactly 16,495 swabs awaiting full genomic sequencing.
“With our variants of concern and their ease of transmissibility from person to person you are going to have to be more vigilant personally than maybe you have been up to now,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said during a briefing. “This is a pivotal time.”
Of the 400 confirmed COVID-19 variants in Ontario, 390 are B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant), nine are B.1.351 (South African variant) and one is P.1 (Brazilian variant).
Update on COVID-19 vaccinations
As of Tuesday, the province said that 247,042 people are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Since needles started going into arms last December, the province said it has administered 585,707 doses of a vaccine total.
Of those shots, 16,000 were administered over the last 24 hours.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.