Ontario reports lowest COVID-19 case count since March with just over 2,000 new infections
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting just over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases, which marks the lowest daily case count recorded since late March.
The province confirmed 2,073 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. The last time the province recorded a case count smaller than that was on March 24 when officials logged 1,571 infections.
Tuesday’s case count comes after the province reported 2,716 new cases on Monday, 3,216 new cases on Sunday and 2,864 new cases on Saturday.
Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 2,914, down from 3,509 at this point last week.
With 28,109 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the positivity rate dropped from 9.1 per cent on Monday to 8.5 per cent on Tuesday.
Health officials also reported that 15 more people have died due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 8,342 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.
There are currently 1,782 people in hospital due to the disease. At least 802 of these patients are in intensive care and 568 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province deemed 2,898 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 457,599.
Tuesday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 497,092, 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 685 new cases in Toronto, 389 new cases in Peel Region, 231 new cases in York Region and 144 in Durham Region.
All other regions in the province reported fewer than 100 new cases.
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 supposed to last until May 20, but will likely be extended into June to avoid a fourth COVID-19 wave
On Monday, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said he would like to see daily COVID-19 cases dip below 1,000 before restrictions are eased.
"We do not want a fourth wave," Williams said. "Slow and steady and stay open. That’s our goal."
Variants in Ontario
The province reported 2,283 new cases of B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) in Ontario on Tuesday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 95,546.
Officials identified 19 new cases of B.1.351 (South African variant), bringing the total case count in the province to 530.
In addition, the province added 34 more cases of P.1 (Brazilian variant), which brings its total number of cases to 1,592.
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 396K people fully vaccinated in Ontario
The province reports that 396,787 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 112,103 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province. Officials have repeatedly said they have the capacity to give about 150,000 vaccines a day.
People with at-risk conditions, and people who cannot work from home, including grocery stores, restaurant and transportation workers, in Ontario will be eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment starting today.
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.