Ontario records fewer than 1,500 new COVID-19 cases for third straight day
TORONTO -- Ontario has recorded fewer than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 for the third straight day.
On Monday, provincial health officials logged 1,265 infections of the novel coronavirus and 33 more deaths linked to the disease.
The province recorded 1,489 cases on Sunday and 1,388 on Saturday after 1,670 infections were logged on Friday.
The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,327, down from 1,888 one week ago.
There were 28,303 COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario in the last-recorded 24-hour period, which falls well below provincial capacity of 70,000 daily swabs.
The test positivity rate now stands at about 4.4 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.
Of the new patients recorded on Monday, 421 are in Toronto, 256 are in Peel Region, 130 are in York Region, 61 are in Durham Region and 50 are in Ottawa.
All other local public health units in Ontario recorded fewer than 50 cases of the disease on Monday.
Monday’s count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 279,472, including deaths and recoveries.
With the 33 new deaths confirmed by health officials on Monday, the province’s death toll is now 6,538. Of the new deaths, eight were residents of long-term care homes.
According to the province, there are at least 901 patients infected with the novel coronavirus in Ontario hospitals as of Monday. Of those patients, 335 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 226 of those 335 patients are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
At this time last week, there were 1,158 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ontario, 354 of which were in the ICU and 260 were on a ventilator.
On Monday, health officials deemed 1,700 more cases of the disease to be resolved, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 258,063.
There are currently 14,331 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, down from 19,017 one week ago.
Officials also confirmed there have been a total of 219 cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, found in Ontario as of Monday. One case of the South African variant, B.1.351, has been found in Ontario, according to officials.
Speaking at a Queen’s Park news conference on Monday afternoon, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province is working to screen all positive COVID-19 tests for known variants.
“COVID-19 variants are now spreading in Ontario and remain a significant threat to controlling the pandemic – in all areas of the province, including those currently with low transmission,” she said.
“In Toronto, an individual has tested positive for the Brazilian variant. In Timiskaming Health Unit, a confirmed COVID-19 test has screen positive for a possible variant of concern. In North Bay, the public health unit has identified a COVID-19 cluster, with one test returning a preliminary confirmation of a variant of concern.”
Thus far, 386,171 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 6,987 administered in the previous day. The vaccine requires two doses. In Ontario, 106,163 total vaccinations have been completed as of Monday.
NOTE: 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.