TORONTO -- Health officials in Ontario are reporting 495 more cases of COVID-19 and another eight deaths related to the disease.

Of the cases logged today, 380 involve individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 115 involve fully vaccinated individuals.

Right now, there are 292 people in hospital with the disease, 260 of whom are either not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. At least 32 are fully vaccinated.

ICU's across the province are currently treating 172 people. Those patients include 164 who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and eight are fully vaccinated.

Wednesday's report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in the province to 585,502, including 570,790 recoveries and 9,723 deaths. According to the government, the eight deaths recorded Wednesday occurred in the last month.

Ontario's Ministry of Health said labs processed 36,404 swabs in the last 24 hours, which they say produced a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent—the lowest level seen since early August.

The cases logged today bring the province’s seven-day average for the number of cases reported to 610, down significantly from the 691 at this time last week.

On Tuesday, Ontario's Science Advisory Table said that the province’s COVID-19 case counts had "flattened" but warned that exponential growth is still possible if restrictions lift.

The new modelling suggests that the province’s current battle with the novel coronavirus is “fragile” and that the approaching cold weather could bring with it a “high degree of instability.”

“Continued control over case growth requires high vaccination rates in the eligible population, continued public health measures, and a flattening of growth in mobility,” the table said.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the case reported by the province on Wednesday were found in Toronto (107), Hamilton (39), and Ottawa (39).

Other areas with case counts in the double digits include York Region (35), Peel Region (33), Windsor-Essex (33), and Niagara Region (32).

Since yesterday, 170 COVID-19 infections were reported in Ontario schools with 159 cases found in students and 11 in staff members.

At least 808 schools have a confirmed case and one school is closed as a result. 

61 more cases of Delta variant confirmed

In the last 24-hour period, labs confirmed 61 additional cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant B.1.617.2. This brings the total number of infections related to the strain to 18,569.

As well, four other cases of the Alpha variant B.1.1.7 were logged, pushing the case total to 146,465.

One other case of the Beta variant B.1.351 was also found. The case total sits at 1,503.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

As of today, nearly 80.7 per cent of Ontario’s eligible population has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are considered to be fully vaccinated against the disease.

Throughout the province’s vaccination campaign, 21,742,456 needles have gone into arms across Ontario.

Some 38,000 doses were administered on Tuesday. 

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.