Ontario has logged more than 1,400 new COVID-19 cases, marking the seventh consecutive day in which the daily infection count has been in the quadruple digits.
On Saturday, health officials reported 1,468 new cases of the novel coronavirus, marking an increase from Friday’s 1,371 infections.
Officials also recorded an additional 11 deaths related to the disease, one of which was a resident at a long-term care home.
The seven-day rolling average for daily COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 1,337, up from 1,034 a week earlier.
According to the Ministry of Health, more than 58,400 COVID-19 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, bringing the province’s positivity rate to 2.9 per cent.
There are at least 689 people being treated for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, according to provincial officials. Of those patients, at least 275 are in intensive care units (ICU), and 175 of those in the ICU are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The majority of the new COVID-19 cases continue to be found in the Greater Toronto Area. According to provincial officials, there were 388 infections in Toronto, 225 in Peel Region and 168 in York Region.
These three areas are the only public health units with more than 100 new COVID-19 cases.
Other municipalities with more than 50 new infections include Thunder Bay (66), Ottawa (82), and Waterloo (51).
Toronto and Peel Region were placed in the strictest tier in the province’s lockdown framework on Monday, while York Region remains in the tier just below it, which allows restaurants and personal care services to resume operations with strict capacity limits.
More than 600 COVID-19 mutations detected in positive tests
On Saturday, officials reported another 20 new COVID-19 variants of concerns. Nineteen of those cases were the B.1.1.7. variant while the remaining infection was found to be B.1.351.
According to the province’s epidemiological report, 634 COVID-19 tests were found to have a mutation of some kind in the last 24 hours.
While close to 7,500 mutations have been identified in positive COVID-19 tests, only 1,101 have been officially categorized due to the time it takes to conduct genomic testing.
Of those 1,101 confirmed variants, 1,024 are the B.1.1.7 mutation first found in the U.K.
New modelling data presented by health officials earlier this week warned that if the spread of the COVID-19 variants wasn’t controlled, Ontario could see up to 8,000 new cases per day by April in the worst-case scenario.
In the best-case scenario, the province could see fewer than 2,000 variant cases.
More than 284,000 people fully vaccinated
In the last 24 hours, a little over 53,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered.
According to provincial data, 284,686 people have been fully immunized against the virus with two doses of the vaccine as of 8 p.m. on Friday.
The total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 316,359, including 7,138 deaths and 297,403 recoveries.
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