Ontario reports more than 1,200 new COVID-19 cases, 28 additional deaths
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting an increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases for the third straight day but the province's test positivity rate still remains low.
Health officials reported 1,228 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is an increase from the 1,150 infections reported on Friday and the 1,038 logged on Thursday.
With just over 57,000 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported the province's positivity rate on Saturday stood at 2.2 per cent.
More than 30,000 test specimens are currently under investigation.
The province also logged an additional 28 deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of COVID-19-related fatalities since the pandemic began to 6,848.
Eleven of the deaths reported on Saturday are residents in long-term care homes.
Officials reported that at least 699 people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19, including 263 who are in intensive care, and 181 who are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province also deemed 1,313 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Saturday, bringing Ontario's number of recovered patients up to 274,714.
Saturday's new report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 291,999, including deaths and recoveries.
Most of the new cases reported on Saturday were found in areas of the province still under a stay-at-home order and full lockdown. Officials reported 331 new cases in Toronto, 228 in Peel and 132 in York Region on Saturday.
All other regions, except for Hamilton, reported fewer than 75 new cases.
On Friday, it was announced that Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay will remain in a full lockdown until at least March 8.
Variants in Ontario
Officials confirmed there are 386 cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, and nine cases of the South African variant, also known as B.1.351, found in Ontario as of Saturday.
The province has also noted that one case of the Brazil variant, also known as P.1, was also found in Ontario.
A total of 229,151 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now fully immunized against the disease.
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.