TORONTO -- The daily COVID-19 case count has dipped below the 500 mark for the first time in five days.

Health officials reported 486 new cases on Tuesday, a significant decrease from the 639 cases reported Monday, 722 reported on Sunday and 689 logged Saturday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily reported cases in Ontario now stands at about 600, up from 495 the previous week.

Of the infections reported Tuesday, 372 were in people who were either not fully vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.

The rise in infections isn’t unexpected. The head of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table Dr. Peter Jüni said on Monday that he expects the province could see about 1,300 cases daily in about three weeks.

An additional 18 deaths were also reported on Tuesday, although 16 of those deaths occurred more than two months ago and are being logged as a result of a data clean up.

Ontario’s death toll related to COVID-19 is now 9,471.

With just over 17,300 COVID-19 tests processed in the last 24-hour period, the province's positivity rate is now about three per cent.

The number of patients in Ontario intensive care units continues to rise, with 156 people now being treated for COVID-19. Of those patients, 85 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, 149 of those in the ICU for COVID-19 are either not fully vaccinated or have an unknown status.

There have been 560,637 cases of COVID-19 identified in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES?

The majority of the new infections can be found in the Greater Toronto Area.

According to the province’s epidemiology report, there were 129 cases in Toronto, 82 in Peel Region and 45 in York Region.

Other municipalities with more than 10 new infections include Windsor-Essex (47), Hamilton (45), Halton (27), Simcoe-Muskoka (16), Ottawa (12) and Niagara (11).

In the last two days, 1,016 cases of the Delta variant were identified in lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 tests, bringing the total number of infections to 7,665.

There were 168 cases of the Alpha variant, 18 cases of the Gamma variant and four cases of the Beta variant also identified.

Backstory:

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.