TORONTO -- Ontario health officials reported fewer than 1,600 new cases of COVID-19 for the second straight day, while also recording a drop in the province’s positivity rate.

The province confirmed 1,571 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, which comes after officials logged 1,546 new infections the day before.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,676, up from 1,361 one week ago.

With just over 51,000 COVID-19 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported the province’s positivity rate on Wednesday fell to 3.7 per cent.

On Monday and Tuesday, the province saw positivity rates of more than five per cent. The last time Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate was that high was on Jan. 26 when it reached 5.9 per cent.

Health officials also reported that 10 more people have died in Ontario due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 7,263 deaths related to the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are steadily increasing in Ontario. Officials reported Wednesday that 893 people are currently in hospital due to the disease. At least 333 of those patients are in intensive care, and 210 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province also deemed 1,531 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 311,380.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 333,690, including the deaths and recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Most of the new cases reported on Sunday are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 459 new cases in Toronto, 309 in Peel and 143 in York Region.

Several other regions reported infection totals in the high double digits. Ottawa, Durham Region and Hamilton all reported just over 80 new COVID-19 cases.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams confirmed last week that the province is facing the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Variants in Ontario

Since the province began actively searching for COVID-19 variants of concern in Ontario, there have been 14,803 mutations discovered in lab-positive tests.

Of those mutations, officials found 909 in the last 24-hour period.

While the province has discovered thousands of variant mutations, only 1,486 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.

There are at least 1,389 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant in Ontario, as well as 50 B.1.351 variant and 47 P.1. variant.

More than 300K people fully vaccinated in Ontario

The province reports that 302,664 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered immunized against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 72,451 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.

Ontario announced Tuesday night that adults over 50 living in COVID-19 hotspot neighbourhoods, various frontline workers, and those with a wide range of health conditions will soon qualify to receive a vaccine as Ontario prepares to roll out Phase 2 of its vaccine plan.


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