TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting 598 new COVID-19 cases and five more deaths linked to the disease.

Friday’s case count marks a slight decline from the 642 new cases reported on Thursday, which was the highest number of new infections seen in Ontario since early October.

The province’s rolling seven-day average stands at 537, up from 404 a week ago.

With 30,230 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said that Ontario’s positivity rate is about 2.5 per cent.

Of the 598 cases reported on Friday, 298 are in people who are unvaccinated, 24 are in people who are partially vaccinated and 222 are in people who are fully vaccinated.

In Ontario hospitals there are 207 patients with COVID-19, of which 74 are unvaccinated, 14 are partially vaccinated and 49 are fully vaccinated

There are 130 patients in intensive care, 59 are unvaccinated, three are partially vaccinated and nine are fully vaccinated.

CTV News Toronto has reached out to the Ministry of Health to address the discrepancy in the total number of infections, hospitalizations and ICU cases, compared to the breakdown of vaccination status. 

"Data on patients in the ICU is collected from two data sources that have different extraction times and public reporting cycles. This may cause discrepancies with other hospitalization numbers that are collected using a different process," the Ministry of Health told CTV News Toronto on Friday.

"Additionally, at this time individuals with an unknown vaccination status are not included in data visualizations posted online." 

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES?

The majority of COVID-19 cases in the province are located in Toronto (63).

Other areas that reported above 30 infections include Simcoe Muskoka District (55), Windsor Essex (43), Peel Region (43),Durham Region (37) and York Region (32), according to government data.

In Ontario schools, 95 cases have been reported in the last 24-hours. Of the new cases, 84 are in students, nine are in staff and two are in unidentified individuals.

Of the province’s 4,844 schools, 489 have logged at least one COVID-19 case and two have closed as a result.

In Ontario, 45 more cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant, B.1.617.2, were found, bringing the total number of cases to 22,052.

UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

Health Minister Christine Elliott said a total of 22,681,696 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario.

Of those who are eligible in the province, 88.6 per cent have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 85.3 per cent are fully protected from the disease.

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.

Health experts have noted the number of COVID-19 infections identified in fully vaccinated individuals will naturally increase as more people get both of their shots. Vaccination helps reduce the risk of severe symptoms related to COVID-19 as well as hospitalization.