Ontario reports fewer than 450 new COVID-19 cases
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting fewer than 450 new cases of COVID-19 after several days of case counts just above the 500 mark.
The province confirmed 447 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, which comes after officials reported 590 on Thursday, 574 on Friday, 502 on Saturday and 530 on Sunday.
Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 503, down from 735 at this point last week.
Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that the province may see daily case counts below 400 in "the next day or so."
"This is really exciting," he said. "Our numbers continue to move in the right direction."
With 13,588 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in the province rose from 2.6 on Sunday to 2.8 per cent on Monday.
The province also reported that four more people have died due to COVID-19 in the previous 24-hour period, bringing the total number of deaths to 8,961.
There are currently 384 people in hospital due to the disease, but the province has noted that number is an underestimate as not all hospitals reported their data this past weekend. At least 409 patients are in intensive care and 268 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Williams added that the number of ICU patients is actually less than 400 if officials exclude patients from Manitoba being treated in the province's hospitals.
The province deemed 670 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Monday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 525,795.
Monday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 540,130, including deaths and recoveries.
WHERE ARE THE COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO
Many of the new COVID-19 cases reported are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 110 new cases in Toronto, 61 new cases in Peel Region, 29 new cases in Durham Region and 11 new cases in York Region.
The province confirmed an additional 458 new cases of B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) in Ontario on Monday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 139,940.
Officials identified no new cases of B.1.351 (South African variant), and so the total case count in the province remained at 1,137.
In addition, the province added two more cases of P.1 (Brazilian variant), which brings its total number of cases to 4,135.
Ontario does not currently report how many cases of the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India, are found in the province.
Ontario entered the first step of its reopening plan on Friday, allowing patios and some non-essential retail to open for the first time in months.
“You can see now case numbers are crumbling, including the Delta variant,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24 on Monday.
“Even though the Delta variant is spreading and taking over as a more dominant variant it is still also fair to say that its numbers are going down. Will that be the case moving forward? I don’t know but currently that is what is happening.”
MORE THAN 1.8M PEOPLE FULLY VACCINATED IN ONTARIO
The province reports that 1,894,320 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 135,574 doses of the vaccine were administered to Ontario residents.
Just over 11.3 million vaccine doses have been administered in the province since the rollout began earlier this year.
More Ontario residents were able to book an accelerated second dose of COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, including some people who live in hot spot regions where the Delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading, as well as people who took a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.