TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting more than 1,400 new cases of COVID-19.

The province confirmed 1,478 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, a slight rise from the 1,373 infections logged the day before.

Health officials also reported 21 new deaths. It is a slight drop after the province reported 35 deaths on Wednesday, which is the highest number of deaths reported in a single day since the second wave began in mid-September.

Most of the deaths in Ontario have involved residents of long-term care homes. According to the province’s daily epidemiology report, 14 of the 21 deaths recorded on Thursday were residents of those facilities.

Since the pandemic started in January, of the 3,575 people who have died in Ontario due to the disease, 2,481 were over the age of 80.

COVID-19 projections are set to be released by the province on Thursday afternoon.

The modelling comes after the province placed Toronto and Peel Region, two of its largest virus hot spots, into lockdown earlier this week.

Earlier in November, the province unveiled modelling that showed Ontario could see as many as 6,500 new daily cases of COVID-19 by mid-December unless steps are taken to limit the spread of the disease.

The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stands at 109,361 including the deaths and 92,915 recoveries.

There are 556 people currently in Ontario hospitals due to COVID-19, with at least 151 of those patients in an intensive care unit and 105 of them breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province previously stated that once the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU reaches 150, it becomes harder to support medical needs not related to the disease in hospitals. Furthermore, once 350 COVID-19 patients are in the ICU, it becomes “impossible” to handle other medical needs, the province said.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

The case count of 572 in Peel Region reported on Thursday is the highest daily number of infections in that area.

Toronto reported 356 new cases on Thursday, and York Region, the other COVID-19 hot spot, reported 111 new cases.

Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 case numbers in the double digits. Waterloo reported 64 cases, Hamilton reported 59 cases, Durham Region reported 47 cases, Windsor-Essex reported 42 cases, Halton reported 36 cases and Ottawa reported 24 cases,

Most of the new cases of COVID-19 reported on Thursday involve people under the age of 80.

There were 542 infections in people between the ages of 20 and 39, at least 434 in people between the ages of 40 and 59 and 215 in people between the ages of 60 and 79. There were 209 cases in people under the age of 19.

COVID-19 testing in Ontario

Officials processed 47,576 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours. The ministry of health said the province’s positivity rate now stands at about 3.9 per cent when including duplicate tests and errors.

There are 52,852 COVID-19 tests still under investigation.

In total, Ontario has processed more than six million tests since the pandemic began in January