TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting more than 4,400 new cases of COVID-19, marking the highest number of infections ever reported in a single day since the pandemic started.

The province confirmed 4,456 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Sunday, surpassing the previous record high case total on Friday of 4,227 new infections.

Sunday's case total is a significant increase from the 3,813 cases reported just the day before.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 3,573, up from 2,637 one week ago.

The province's positivity rate also rose on Sunday. With 56,378 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ontario Ministry of Health said its COVID-19 positivity rate increased from 6.5 per cent on Saturday to 7.7 per cent on Sunday.

Health officials also reported that 21 more people have died in Ontario due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 7,552 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

The total number of patient fighting COVID-19 in Ontario's intensive care units surpassed 600 for the first time during the pandemic.

The province reported on Sunday more than 1,513 people are currently in hospital due to the disease. At least 605 of these patients are being treated in ICUs and 382 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The Ontario government issued two emergency orders on Friday evening to help increase critical care capacity in the province after hospitals were ordered to ramp down on elective surgeries amid surging COVID-19 cases.

The province also deemed 2,617 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Sunday, bringing Ontario’s total number of recovered patients up to 346,239.

Sunday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 386,608, including deaths and recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Most of the new cases reported on Sunday are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 1,353 new cases in Toronto, 860 in Peel Region and 444 in York Region.

Several other regions reported new infection totals in the triple digits on Sunday. Ottawa reported 377 cases, Durham Region reported 329 cases, Middlesex-London reported 159 cases, Niagara Region reported 120 cases, Halton Region reported 118 cases, Hamilton reported 116 cases and Simcoe Muskoka reported 101 cases.

The Ontario government entered a provincewide stay-at-home order on Thursday in order to curb the spread of the deadly disease. The order closed all non-essential businesses for in-person shopping for at least a month in order to deal with the third wave.

Variants in Ontario

The province reported 1,174 new cases of the B.1.1.7 (UK variant) in Ontario on Sunday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 14,387.

Officials identified two new cases of the B.1.351 (South African variant), and so the total case count in the province rose to 78.

In addition, the province added no new cases of the P.1 (Brazilian variant) on Sunday, which keeps its total number of cases at 134.

More than 333K people fully vaccinated in Ontario

The province reports that 333,150 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered vaccinated against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 94,794 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.


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.