Ontario logs more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases as ICU admission continues to climb
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting more than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases as well as 24 more deaths related to the disease.
The 4,094 infections reported Saturday marks a decrease from the 4,505 cases logged a day earlier.
The number of COVID-19 infections reported daily has fluctuated throughout the week, dipping into the 3,000s after a few days of case counts above 4,000.
The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases now stands at about 4,094, a significant decline from the 4,370 infections a week ago.
According to provincial officials, about 52,160 COVID-19 tests were conducted in the last 24-hour period, yielding a positivity rate of about 7.8 per cent.
The number of people being treated for the disease in Ontario intensive care units (ICU) continues to climb. As of Saturday, there are at least 2,277 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 833 of those patients are in the ICU.
Six hundred of the ICU patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 now stands at 441,404, including 7,887 deaths and 392,044 recoveries.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The majority of the COVID-19 cases were found in the Greater Toronto Area, with both Toronto and Peel Region reporting more than 1,000 infections.
The province’s daily epidemiology report says that there were 1,191 cases in Toronto, 1,014 in Peel Region, and 404 in York Region.
Numerous other municipalities also reported COVID-19 cases in the triple digits, including Niagara (226), Durham (199), Ottawa (158), Hamilton (133), Waterloo (111), and Halton (109).
The majority of Saturday’s infections were reported in people between the age of 20 and 60. Officials say that 1,594 of the cases were in people between the ages of 20 and 39, while another 1,198 were in people between the ages of 40 and 59.
The data shows there were 518 cases in people between the ages of 60 and 79, while there were 80 infections in people over the age of 80.
There were 707 cases in people under the age of 19.
COVID-19 variants in Ontario
The province’s epidemiology report says that an additional 2,955 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant were found in lab-positive COVID-19 tests. This brings the total number of B.1.1.7. variant cases in the province to 49,860.
There were 16 cases of the B.1.351 variants and another 43 of the P.1. variants discovered.
The B.1.617 variant, originally discovered in India, was not included in the province’s epidemiology report. However, on Friday, Public Health Ontario (PHO) said that at least 36 cases have been confirmed in the last few days.
Of those cases, six were detected through PHO’s genomic surveillance program. The agency says the cases were all linked to international travel.
The other 30 cases were identified through the province’s airport and land border screening programs.
More than 100,000 vaccinations administered
Ontario officials say that 126,694 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered in the last 24-hour period. This brings the total number of people with at least one dose of a vaccine to just over 4.5 million.
The province says that 358,776 people have received both doses and are considered fully vaccinated.
On Friday, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunizations updated their recommendations on the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying that anyone aged 30 and over should be able to get it.
However, a spokesperson for Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said that the age threshold for the vaccine will remain at 40 until additional supply is received.
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.