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Ontario COVID-19 hospitalizations drop to lowest levels since early January

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The number of reported COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ontario dropped again on Sunday to the lowest levels since early January. 

The province said 2,230 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19. That number is down from 2,493 on Saturday and 2,634 on Friday. 

It is the lowest number of hospitalizations reported by the province since Jan. 5.

Not all hospitals report COVID-19 data to the province on the weekend, meaning the number go slightly higher on Monday. 

The number of people reported to be in intensive care also dropped on Sunday and now sits at 486. It's the first time that number has dropped below 500 in nearly one month. 

The province reported Sunday that 56 more people have died with COVID-19.

"Of these, two deaths occurred on Feb. 5, 16 deaths occurred on Feb. 4, nine deaths occurred on Feb. 3, with the remaining occurring in the preceding days," the Ministry of Health said Sunday.

Twelve of the deaths announced on Sunday were long-term care home residents.

Officials said there have been a total 11,825 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The province reported 2,887 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, but health officials have warned that number is an underestimate due to testing limitations and backlogs.

With 17,502 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the province's positivity rate is 11.8 per cent.

Monday will mark one week since Ontario began relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, allowing indoor dining and gyms to reopen with capacity limits. 

If public health trends continue in the right direction, Ontario will enter the next step of reopening on Feb. 21.

On Feb. 21, Ontario will increase indoor social gathering limits to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoor.

At this time, the province will also remove capacity limits in indoor public settings where proof of vaccination is required, including restaurants, indoor sports and recreational facilities, and cinemas.

Indoor capacity limits of 25 per cent will be put in place for higher-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required, including nightclubs, wedding receptions in event spaces where there is dancing, as well as bathhouses and sex clubs.

Other settings that choose to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements will also be allowed to lift capacity limits.

Spectator capacity at sporting events, concert venues, and theatres will be 50 per cent capacity on Feb. 21.

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