New COVID-19 cases in Ontario drop below 500 as vaccine certificate takes effect
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting fewer than 500 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in weeks as the province’s vaccine certificate takes effect.
The 463 infections logged Wednesday mark the lowest single-day case total reported since Aug. 17 when 348 were found.
Of the cases reported today, 332 are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 131 are in fully vaccinated individuals.
Right now, there are 299 people in hospitalized with the disease. Those hospitalizations include 271 patients who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 28 who are fully vaccinated.
There are 187 people in an ICU with COVID-19 and 178 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. At least nine are fully vaccinated.
Wednesday’s report brings Ontario’s seven-day average for the number of cases reported to 691. A week ago, that number was 722.
Labs across the province processed 39,092 tests in the last 24 hours which the Ministry of Health said generated a positivity rate of 1.8. Health officials last reported a positivity rate that low on Aug. 7.
The province has logged 581,231 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus throughout the course of the pandemic. That number includes 565,710 recoveries and 9,670 deaths—seven of which were reported in the last 24 hours.
Starting today, people will need to show proof of vaccination to enter most non-essential businesses, including indoor restaurants, movie theatres, and gyms in Ontario.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The province reported high case numbers in Toronto (93), Ottawa (54), and Windsor-Essex (48).
Other regions with case counts in the double digits include Peel Region (41), York Region (30), and Hamilton (27).
Schools across Ontario reported 179 COVID-19 infections Wednesday, including 153 among students, 19 among staff members, and seven unidentified cases.
At least 660 schools have a confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and one school is closed.
Another 650 cases of Delta variant confirmed
In the previous day, labs confirmed 650 additional cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant B.1.617.2.
This brings the total case count for the strain to 17,594.
No new cases of the Alpha, Beta, or Gamma variant were confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Update on vaccinations
As of today, 85.3 per cent of the eligible population has received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 79.4 per cent have received two doses, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.
Some 40,000 needles went into arms on Tuesday alone, bringing the total number of shots administered to 21,475,030.
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.