TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting 496 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and two more deaths linked to the disease.

Friday’s case count marks an increase from the 417 cases logged on Thursday, along with the 306 new infections on Wednesday, which was the lowest daily case count since the beginning of August.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 465, down from the 573 cases recorded a week ago.

With 35,905 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in Ontario stands at 1.4 cent.

Today’s case count comes just a day after the province reached its lowest positivity rate since the beginning of August.

The province reported two more deaths linked to COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total death tally in the province to 9,809.

Of Friday’s cases, 334 are in people who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. The remaining 162 cases are in people who are fully vaccinated.

According to the province, 265 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, including 228 who are either not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 37 who are fully vaccinated .

In the intensive care unit, 163 individuals have COVID-19; 148 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 15 are fully vaccinated.

Ontario’s total number of lab-confirmed cases has reached 593,933, including deaths and recoveries. 

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO?

The majority of the province’s new COVID-19 cases are in the Greater Toronto Area. In Toronto, officials reported 74 new infections, 60 in Peel Region, 28 in York Region and 15 in Durham Region.

Apart from Windsor-Essex, where there are 40 new cases, all other regions reported fewer than 30 new cases on Friday.

According to the province, there are 80 new COVID-19 infections in Ontario schools, including 69 in students and eight involving staff. The remaining three cases were not identified.

Of the 4,844 schools in the province, health officials reported 677 have at least one reported case of COVID-19.

Three schools are closed in the province due to COVID-19. 

In Ontario, 87.3 per cent of those eligible in the province have at least one dose of a vaccine and nearly 82.8 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

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.