Ontario reports fewer than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases for first time in a week as more cases of U.K. variant found
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting a one-day drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases with fewer than 3,000 reported, but the positivity rate remains high.
The province confirmed 2,903 cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday after eight consecutive days of case numbers over the 3,000 mark. Health officials logged 3,338 new infections on Monday, and a record-breaking number of 3,945 on Sunday.
While the province has reported a drop in cases Tuesday, with just over 40,000 COVID-19 tests completed, the positivity rate of 7.8 is higher that what it was on the previous five days.
The province’s seven-day average for number of infections recorded is now 3,523, up from 2,646 one week ago.
The Ontario Ministry of Health also reported on Tuesday that the province now has eight additional cases of the more-contagious COVID-19 variant first discovered in the U.K. Fourteen cases of the new strain have been found in Ontario to date.
Officials also reported on Tuesday that 41 more people have died due to the disease, including 23 people who were residents of long-term care homes. The province’s death toll now stands at 5,053.
The province also deemed 3,353 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 186,829.
Tuesday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 222,023, including deaths and recoveries.
Ontario health officials reported a jump in the number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 with 1,701 people currently receiving care.
The province said that 385 of those patients are in intensive care, and 262 of them are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. According to a report by Critical Care Services Ontario, there are more than 400 people in the province’s intensive care units with COVID-19.
Health officials have said that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, medical care in hospitals not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Of the 2,903 cases reported on Tuesday, health officials said that 837 were in Toronto, 545 were in Peel Region and 249 were in York Region.
Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the triple digits, including Windsor-Essex (158), Niagara Region (246) and Waterloo (166).
In an effort to help curb the spread of the disease, the provincial government ordered a 28-day Ontario-wide lockdown on Dec. 26. Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce further restriction on Tuesday in order to curb the spread of the disease.
There were 44,802 COVID-19 tests completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period. There are 43,154 COVID-19 tests still under investigation. In total, Ontario has processed more than 8.5 million tests since the pandemic began in January.
As of 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, 133,553 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 11,448 doses administered in the past 24 hours. The vaccine requires two doses. In Ontario, 6,046 total vaccinations have been completed as of Tuesday.