TORONTO -- Ontario has logged more than 500 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since mid-June.

Health officials reported 513 new infections on Thursday—a significant increase from the 324 cases on Wednesday and the 321 on Tuesday.

The rolling seven-day average of daily COVID-19 infections now stands at about 375, a stark difference from 214 last week.

The last time Ontario reported more than 500 cases of COVID-19 in a single-day was on June 13, when 530 cases were identified.

Earlier this week, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health warned that residents should expect to see a rise in infections heading into the fall, but that it was “not a cause for panic.”

“Our case rates will fluctuate over time,” Dr. Kieran Moore said. “If we really work well together in Ontario, we can blunt this. We can decrease its impact. We can lessen morbidity and mortality and have less young people die as a result.”

The positivity rate in Ontario has also jumped to about 2.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health, with just under 22,900 tests processed in the last 24-hour period.

Of the 513 cases reported Thursday, Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 360 of them are in unvaccinated individuals and 56 were partially vaccinated.

No new deaths were reported on Thursday.

There are 113 people being treated for COVID-19 in Ontario intensive care units. Ontario officials say that of those patients, only two are fully vaccinated.

The remaining patients are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or their status is unknown.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases now stands at 553,962, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES?

The majority of new infections can be found within the Greater Toronto Area, however more municipalities are also reporting high case counts.

According to the province’s epidemiology report, there are 105 new cases in Toronto, 70 in York Region and 64 in Peel Region.

Other municipalities reporting more than 10 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday include Durham (44), Hamilton (29), Windsor-Essex (27), Simcoe-Muskoka (25), Ottawa (20), Halton (20), Waterloo (17), Middlesex-London (15), and Eastern Ontario (14).

Ontario remains in Step 3 of its economic reopening plan, and while the chief medical officer of health says he believes the province can move to the next stage in the next 10 days or so, the head of the science table suggested he won’t support further easing of restrictions at the moment.

“We need to be very careful that we don’t have further explosive growth,” Dr. Peter Juni said Wednesday.

“We see signals in the U.S. which are not reassuring (a rise in pediatric admissions at hospitals) and it may be that we will find out you know in a few weeks or months that children have also an increased risk of more severe COVID coming (from Delta).”

RISE IN DELTA VARIANT CASES

Ontario has seen a rise in the number of cases involving the Delta variant over the last few days.

On Wednesday, 325 new Delta B.1.617.2 variants were identified in lab-confirmed infections and on Thursday, an additional 148 cases were identified.

The total number of Delta variant cases in Ontario is now 5,873.

Ontario administered just over 49,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the last 24-hour period, bringing the total number of shots in arms to more than 20 million.

More than 9.4 million people in Ontario have received both doses and are considered fully vaccinated.

Backstory:

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.