TORONTO -- Ontario has reported fewer than 300 new COVID-19 cases for the third day in a row as the province reaches a new vaccination milestone.

Health officials logged 255 infections on Wednesday, a number not seen since Sept. 15 when 251 cases were reported.

The new cases mark a significant decrease from the 296 infections reported Tuesday and the 270 infections on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases now stands at about 316. A week ago that number was 443.

According to the province’s daily epidemiology report, Toronto and Waterloo logged the most new COVID-19 cases Wednesday with 57 and 53 infections respectively.

Other municipalities with case counts in the double digits include Peel Region (25), North Bay Parry Sound District (23), Ottawa (14), Niagara (11), and York Region (10).

With just over 27,360 COVID-19 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the province’s positivity rate is now 1.2 per cent.

Another 11 deaths related to the disease were reported on Wednesday, bringing the death tally related to the virus to 9,093.

According to data from local public health units and hospitals, there are at least 816 people being treated for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals.

At the same time, there are 305 people in intensive case, with 190 people breathing with the assistance of a ventilator according to the Ministry of Health.

The total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario now stands at 543,019, including deaths and recoveries.

The province has identified 56 new Delta variant cases in lab-confirmed COVID-19 tests, bringing the total to 975.

In total, officials have identified 142,647 cases of the Alpha variant, 1,154 cases of the Beta variant and 4,263 cases of the Gamma variant.

MORE THAN 25% OF ONTARIANS FULLY VACCINATED

On Wednesday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said on social media that the province has reached a new milestone with more than a quarter of adults over the age of 18 fully vaccinated with two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to provincial data, more than 3.3 million people have received two doses of a vaccine. In the last 24-hour period, the province administered 227,318 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Ontario is currently in Step 1 of its reopening plan, which allows for most outdoor activities and patios to resume operation. The province is scheduled to move to Step 2 on July 2, although health officials have said the transition may occur a few days ahead of deadline.

The push for an earlier reopening is due to the declining trends in case counts and hospitalizations, as well as the acceleration of vaccinations in the province. One of the thresholds the government said it had to meet in order to continue to the final step of its reopening plan was for at least 25 per cent of the population to be fully vaccinated.

According to the government, the province has now surpassed that goal.

Backstory:

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.