Ontario reports fewer than 2,800 new COVID-19 cases as positivity rate climbs
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting fewer then 2,800 new cases of COVID-19 as the province’s positivity rate shoots slightly up.
The province confirmed 2,716 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, which marks the lowest number reported since April 1.
Monday’s case count comes after officials reported a single-day hike on Sunday with 3,216 infections and after 2,864 cases were reported on Saturday.
Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 3,016, down from 3,577 at this point last week.
With 27,175 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate increased from 6.8 per cent on Saturday and 7.1 per cent on Sunday to 9.1 per cent. The last time the positivity rate was that high was almost a week ago.
Health officials also reported that 19 more people have died due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 8,327 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.
There are currently more than 1,632 people in hospital due to COVID-19. Officials noted that the number might be underestimated as not all hospitals submitted their data this weekend. At least 828 of these patients are in intensive care and 547 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province deemed 3,110 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Monday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 454,701.
Monday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 495,019, including deaths and recoveries.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Most of the new cases reported are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 807 new cases in Toronto, 707 new cases in Peel Region and 294 new cases in York Region.
Other regions reported new infection totals in the triple digits, including Durham Region (168) and Hamilton (106).
The Ontario government entered a provincewide stay-at-home order last month in order to curb the spread of the deadly disease. The order is expected to last at least until May 20.
Variants in Ontario
The province reported 1,639 new cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) in Ontario on Sunday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 93,263.
Officials identified 111 new cases of the B.1.351 (South African variant), bringing total case count in the province to 511.
In addition, the province added 329 more cases of the P.1 (Brazilian variant), which brings its total number of cases to 1,558.
Ontario does not currently report how many cases of the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India, are found in the province.
More than 393K people fully vaccinated in Ontario
The province reports that 393,884 people in Ontario have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered vaccinated against the disease.
In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 94,093doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.
The province has repeatedly said they have the capacity to administer about 150,000 vaccines a day.
On Monday, the province said it can now offer medical workers dealing with COVID-19 patients, as well as testing centre staff and first responders a second vaccine dose at a shorter interval than the general public due to increasing supply.
The province also plans to allow other groups to book their COVID-19 vaccine through the provincial portal this week.
Most cancer patients, dementia and diabetes sufferers can begin booking vaccine appointments on the portal starting on Tuesday at 8 a.m.
On Thursday at 8 a.m., people who are aged 40 and older can begin registering for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the portal.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said on Monday that Ontario might see a better summer than last year amid as the province ramps up its vaccination campaign and gets more shots into people’s arms.
“There’s a lot of vaccines coming into the country, and a lot of them are going into arms so its good news on that front for sure,” Bogoch said.
“I think we will have a better summer than last year. Of course, I don’t think we are going to have a 2019 summer, but it should be better than last year.”