TORONTO -- Ontario health officials say the province is reporting fewer than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 on both Monday and Tuesday.

The province announced a total of 1,868 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. Officials said that 964 of those cases are from Monday and 904 are from Tuesday. The province did not release new case numbers on Monday due to Family Day.

The province warns that the province’s case totals may be impacted by fluctuating numbers in Toronto due to an ongoing data issue at the city's public health unit.

With just over 27,000 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported the province’s positivity rate now stands at 3.3 per cent on Tuesday.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,038 , down from 1,367 one week ago.

Health officials reported, over the two-day period, that 26 more people have died of COVID-19, including six residents in long-term care. In total, the province has recorded 6,719 deaths related to the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Officials reported that 742 people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19, but noted some hospitals have not submitted data on their bed use, which may have resulted in an underestimation. Just over 292 of those patients are in intensive care, and 201 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province also deemed 2,285 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 269,413.

The case counts on Monday and Tuesday bring the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 287,736, including deaths and recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Most of the new cases are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 251 new cases in Toronto, 201 in Peel and 93 in York Region on Monday. On Tuesday, officials reported 320 new cases in Toronto, 154 in Peel and 118 in York Region.

Most other regions in Ontario reported fewer than 66 new cases on both days. Twenty-seven of these regions transitioned into the province's colour-coded reopening framework on Tuesday. Three regions already transitioned last week.

Toronto, Peel Region, York Region and North Bay Parry Sound District are not included in the regions moving into the tiered system and the province’s stay-at-home order will remain in place until Feb. 22.

Variants in Ontario

Officials confirmed there are 309 cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, and nine cases of the South African variant, also known as B.1.351, found in Ontario as of Tuesday. The province has also noted that one case of the Brazil variant, also known as P.1, was also found in Ontario.

Provincial health officials reported that about 81.2 per cent of the variant cases were associated with an outbreak or were a close contact of a confirmed case. About 6.9 per cent of cases were linked to travel, while about 11 per cent had no known epidemiological link.

Last week, experts, who presented the province’s most recent modelling data, warned that the COVD-19 variants could lead to a possible third wave of the disease. They noted, however, that aggressive vaccination and a stay-at-home order could help combat the spread of these more-contagious variants.

A total of 186,934 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now fully vaccinated against the disease.


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.