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Ontario posts record 16,713 new COVID-19 infections as new testing guidelines take effect


Ontario health officials are reporting a record-breaking number of new COVID-19 cases with 16,713 infections logged as new testing guidelines for the public take effect.

Friday’s data comes after the province posted 13,807 new cases on Thursday and 10,436 new cases on Wednesday -- both records at the time.

The seven-day average for the number of cases reported in the province stands at 11,348. For context, that number was 4,922 this time last week. Two weeks ago, it was 1,914.

As well, 15 deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours -- the highest total reported in months -- pushing the province’s COVID-19 death toll to 10,194.

Of the cases reported today, 13,436 infections were found in those who are fully vaccinated, 2,278 were in unvaccinated individuals, and 647 were in those who are partially vaccinated. The vaccination status of the remaining 352 cases is unknown.

With 75,093 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said that Ontario’s positivity rate is currently 29.8 per cent.

On Thursday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore announced that the province would be adjusting its testing guidelines for the public due to the scarcity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests across the province.

Starting today, PCR tests will only be available for symptomatic high-risk individuals and those who work in the highest risk settings, as well as vulnerable populations. Members of the general public with mild symptoms are now being asked not to seek testing.

A full list of those eligible for PCR testing can be found here.

Anyone with COVID-19-related symptoms is asked to assume they have the virus and isolate according to the revised isolation guidelines, which include five days for fully vaccinated individuals, seven days for those who work in high-risk settings, and 10 days for the unvaccinated and immunocompromised.

In the absence of testing being readily available to most of the public -- which some experts argue will present an unclear picture of how the virus is spreading -- Moore said that hospitalizations due to COVID-19 will continue to be a key indicator of how the highly-transmissible Omicron variant is affecting Ontario's health-care system.

Right now, of the 1,144 patients in hospital -- up 179 over yesterday’s total -- 536 patients are fully vaccinated, 236 are unvaccinated, and 42 are partially vaccinated. No vaccination information was provided for the remaining patients.

There are 205 patients in the ICU with COVID -- up five in the last 24 hours -- including 89 unvaccinated patients, 47 fully vaccinated patients, and seven partially vaccinated patients. No other vaccination information was released.

On Wednesday, a government official said that the province is working to change how it reports hospitalization data to reflect those who are admitted because of COVID-19 versus those who are admitted for another reason and test positive for the virus after the fact.


According to data released by the province, most of the cases reported Friday were found in Toronto (3,899), Peel Region (1,639), Ottawa (1,431), and York Region (1,391).

Other areas with high case numbers reported include Hamilton (865), Durham Region (766), and Halton Region (756).


As of Friday, 90.8 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 88.1 per cent have two doses.

At least 27,208,675 doses have been administered in Ontario throughout its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, including over 195,000 jabs that were given out Thursday alone.


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.

Health experts have said the number of COVID-19 infections identified in fully vaccinated individuals will naturally increase as more people get both of their shots. Top Stories

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