TORONTO -- Ontario has logged more than 4,800 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in the pandemic, breaking a record for the most daily infections for a second day in a row.

Health officials reported 4,812 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday as well as 25 more deaths related to the disease.

Friday's infections mark a new record for the province and an increase from yesterday’s 4,726 cases—a record at the time. There were 4,156 COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday, 3,670 on Tuesday and 4,401 on Monday.

The rolling seven-day average for daily COVID-19 case counts now stands at about 4,292.

The province is also marking another grim milestone with more than 700 people being treated in Ontario intensive care units.

Of the 701 patients in the ICU, at least 480 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

On Friday, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital said the surge in ICU cases will likely mean hospitals will have to soon implement a triage protocol where doctors prioritize patients based on likelihood of survival.

"Every hospital has gone through simulation of this," Dr. Michael Warner told Newstalk 1010 on Friday morning. "It is our greatest fear and I actually can't see a situation where some form of triage doesn't take place."

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 now stands at 408,338, including 7,664 deaths and 360,742 recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases?

The majority of COVID-19 cases continue to be found in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

According to the province's epidemiological report, there were 1,469 infections in Toronto—a new record for the city.

There were also 851 cases in Peel Region, 491 in York Region, 268 in Durham Region, 204 in Hamilton and 175 in Halton Region.

Three other public health units have a COVID-19 case count in the triple digits—Ottawa (366), Middlesex-London (123) and Niagara (192).

Ontario has been under a provincewide shutdown for two weeks and stay-at-home order for one week.

Sources have confirmed to both CTV News Toronto and CP24 that cabinet met on Thursday to discuss possible further COVID-19 measures, including more restrictions on retail, construction and possible a curfew.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has scheduled an announcement for Friday at 2:30, hours after modelling is expected to be released.

"I just hope that the premier makes the right decisions today because we are in deep, deep trouble," Warner said. "At this point it is preservation of life that has to be the only thing that matters. Everything else has to be set aside."

Variants continue to spread in Ontario

Provincial officials are reporting another 2,897 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7. variant in lab-positive COVID-19 tests, as well as four cases of the B.1.351 variant and 11 of the P.1. variant.

In total, the province has recorded 30,175 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant so far.

In early April, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said that people who contract the COVID-19 variants have a 103 per cent increased risk of ending up in an ICU and a 56 per cent increased risk of death.

More than 100,000 vaccine doses administered for third straight day

The province has said that 115,634 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have made it into the arms of Ontarians in the last 24-hour period.

This marks the third day in a row in which more than 100,000 people were given a dose of a vaccine.

In total, more than 3.6 million people have received a shot, while 341,933 people have received both doses and are considered fully vaccinated.


(NOTE: 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.)