Ontario reports fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections but Toronto cases continue to ‘fluctuate’ due to ongoing data migration
Two women wear masks as they walk down a graffiti covered alley in Toronto on Tuesday March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting less than 1,000 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday with only 122 cases in Toronto as that health region continues to deal with an ongoing data cleanup.
Provincial health officials logged 981 new cases today, down from 1,300 recorded on Saturday.
But the province’s latest case count is impacted by Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) ongoing data migration to the provincial system.
In the Ministry of Health’s latest epidemiological summary, it says case counts from TPH “may fluctuate” due to the data transition.
Toronto’s data migration has been happening for the past two weeks.
The province reported 1,076 new infections on Friday, 945 on Thursday and 1,072 on Wednesday. For many days throughout the past week the province said the daily case counts were an “underestimate” due to under-reporting from TPH.
Ontario also reported 42 more deaths on Sunday, with 17 among long-term care home residents.
There are currently 174 long-term care homes and 103 retirement homes with an active outbreak of COVID-19.
To date, 3,797 long-term care home residents have died due to COVID-19 infection.
Since the pandemic began last March, there have been 6,693 virus-related fatalities across the province.
Provincial health officials say another 1,235 people have recovered from COVID-19, resulting in 12,047 active cases of the virus in Ontario.
Most of today’s new cases continue to be throughout hot spots in the Greater Toronto Area.
“Locally, there are 209 new cases in Peel, 171 in York Region and 122 in Toronto,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Sunday.
On Saturday, Toronto logged 433 new cases of the novel coronavirus, while Peel recorded 253 and York reported 116.
Elsewhere in the GTA, both Halton Region and Durham Region logged 35 new cases of the novel coronavirus today.
The province’s seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 1,094, compared to 1,428 a week ago.
Provincial health officials are also reporting nine more cases of highly-contagious COVID-19 variants of concern.
Six more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which first originated in the United Kingdom, and three more cases of the B.1.351 variant, first found in South Africa, were logged by the province today.
To date, Ontario has identified 303 lab-confirmed cases of the U.K. variant, six of the South African variant and one of the P.1 variant, which first emerged in Brazil.
The number of tests processed in the last 24-hour period saw a notable drop compared to a day ago.
Ontario labs conducted 48,701 tests, down from more than 58,700 tests on Saturday.
The province’s positivity rate is 2.6 per cent, up from 2.3 a day ago, according to the Ministry of Health.
Provincial health officials say there are 705 people hospitalized with the virus across Ontario, but they expect that number to increase as 10 per cent of hospitals did not submit data to the Daily Bed Census on Sunday, which is often observed on weekends.
Of those hospitalized, 292 are in intensive care units and 203 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
To date, there have been more than 285,800 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus across the province and 267,128 recoveries.
More than 174,600 people fully vaccinated
As of 8 p.m. on Saturday, 174,643 Ontarians have been fully immunized with COVID-19 vaccines.
The province has administered more than 467,600 doses of the approved Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Two doses of a vaccine administered a few weeks apart is needed for full immunization.
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.