TORONTO -- COVID-19 case numbers in Ontario remained below the 300 mark for the second consecutive day Tuesday as the province reported a spike in deaths related to the disease while citing a data cleanup.

The 296 new infections mark a slight increase over Monday’s total when the province logged 270 cases. At least 80 of the cases reported today are from 2020, the Ministry of Health said in an email.

Sixty COVID-19-related deaths were reported in the last 24-hour period, which would mark the highest single-day death toll since Feb. 4.

However, the Ministry of Health also said that 54 of the fatalities being reported today are from previous months.

Tuesday’s report brings Ontario’s COVID-19 case total to 542,764. Including 9,082 deaths and 530,434 recoveries.

Labs across Ontario processed 16,784 tests for COVID-19 since yesterday, which the province says yielded a positivity rate of 1.6 per cent.

The seven-day rolling average for the number of cases reported in Ontario sits at 334. Last week, that number was 478.

There are currently 334 people in hospital with COVID-19. Of those hospitalized, 314 are being treated in intensive care and 202 are on a ventilator. 

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the cases reported by the province on Tuesday were found in Toronto (123), including 80 previously unreported cases from 2020, Waterloo (61), and York Region (37).

There were 20 cases reported in Peel Region and 11 cases in both Hamilton and Ottawa.

Ontario is currently in Step 1 of its reopening plan, which allows for patio dining, outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, and limited non-essential retail shopping.

The province will enter Step 2 of the plan on July 2 at the earliest, which further relaxes public health restrictions and allows for personal care services and indoor gatherings of up to five people.

Another 209 cases of variants of concern recorded

In the last 24 hours, labs confirmed 209 additional cases of COVID-19 variants of concern.

Health officials found 178 more cases of the Alpha variant known as B.1.1.7, pushing the case total to 142,393.

Twenty-nine instances of the Delta variant B.1.617.2 were found. There are 916 confirmed cases of that strain of novel coronavirus in Ontario.

Two other cases of the Gamma variant P.1 were found, which brings the case total to 4,256.

No additional cases of the Beta variant B.1.351 were logged over night. The case total remains at 1,154.

More than 3.1 million fully vaccinated

Since the start of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, more than 3.1 million people have received both a first and second shot and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

In total, 12,869,310 needles have gone into arms over the last seven months, with nearly 200,000 doses administered on Monday alone. 

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.