New COVID-19 cases in Ontario drop below 3,500 as hospitalizations climb higher
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting a single-day drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations related to the disease reach new heights.
Tuesday’s report of 3,469 infections marks a significant decrease from Monday when 4,447 were logged. The province reported 4,250 cases on Sunday, 4,362 on Saturday, and a record 4,812 on Friday.
However, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province continues to break records with 2,360 patients currently being treated. Of those patients, 773 are in an intensive care unit, a number never before seen in the pandemic, and 537 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Labs across Ontario processed 40,596 tests in the last 24 hours, which brings the positivity rate to 10 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.
Since the pandemic began, the province has logged 424,911 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 374,213 recoveries and 7,757 deaths -- 22 of which were reported in the previous day.
Right now, there are 42,941 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario. The seven-day average for number of cases reported is 4,318. Last Tuesday, that number was 3,868.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
Most of the cases reported Tuesday were found in Toronto (1,074), Peel Region (775), and York Region (406).
New COVID-19 infections in the triple digits were also reported in Durham Region (256), Ottawa (197), Halton Region (130), and Niagara Region (106).
Ontario is currently under a provincewide stay-at-home order to curb the spread of infection. The order is set to expire on May 20 at the earliest.
On Tuesday, Toronto and Peel Region went one step further and announced that starting Friday, workplaces with five or more recent COVID-19 cases must shut down completely for 10 days.
COVID-19 U.K. variant case total nears 40,000
The province says it has found nearly 40,000 instances of the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.7 throughout Ontario since February.
With 2,697 more infections confirmed in the last 24 hours, the case total for the variant, which was first found in the U.K., stands at 39,276.
Meanwhile, one additional case of B.1.351 (South African variant) was also found, bringing the case total to 105.
The number of P.1 infections (Brazilian variant) remains unchanged at 211.
Since the province began searching for variants of the disease earlier this year, more than 28,000 swabs have been flagged for a mutation.
Update on vaccinations
The province says it has administered 3,995,187 shots of a COVID-19 vaccine since needles began going into arms in December.
At least 90,000 of those shots were administered yesterday, according to the province.
In an email, the Ministry of Health said that due to the countrywide Rogers wireless outage yesterday, some vaccine clinics were forced to use paper-based reporting and, as such, vaccine numbers presented today are likely “an underestimate" of the total doses administered on Monday.
More than 347,000 people have received both their first and second shots and are considered to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Ontario government has said that its vaccine rollout has been hampered by supply issues from the federal government.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford’s office said that they have been told to prepare for delays to two upcoming shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a vaccine they just approved for use in younger residents a day earlier.
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.