Ontario reports more than 1,800 new COVID-19 cases following single-day spike
TORONTO -- COVID-19 case numbers in Ontario dropped Friday following a single-day increase reported a day earlier.
The 1,837 new cases represent a decrease over Thursday’s total when 2,093 were confirmed.
Friday’s report pushes the province’s lab-confirmed case total to 264,300, including 6,072 deaths and 237,871 recoveries. At least 58 of those deaths occurred in the last 24-hour period, 32 of which involved long-term care residents.
The province said it completed 69,040 COVID-19 tests in the previous day but did not provide a positivity rate.
Ontario’s seven-day average for number of infections recorded sits at 2,010, down from the 2,702 a week ago.
The government has also started providing the number of novel coronavirus variants found in the province. According to the data, there are 51 cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, as of Friday.
Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce mandatory COVID-19 testing at Ontario’s airports and border crossings Friday to prevent the spread of new variants, a government source told CP24.
Health officials suggested Thursday that the highly-contagious U.K. variant will likely be the dominant strain in the province by March, based on new COVID-19 modelling released by the province's COVID-19 science table.
Current evidence shows that the U.K. variant may also be associated with an “increased risk of death” compared to infection with non-VOC viruses, according to officials.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The province says that most of the cases reported Friday were found in Toronto (595), Peel Region (295), York Region (170) and Waterloo (91).
Several other public health units reported new case numbers in the double digits, including Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, Niagara Region and Ottawa.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 appear to be on the decline with 1,291 patients currently receiving care. On Jan. 12, that number was as high as 1,701 and has been slowly falling ever since.
Of the patients in hospital, 360 are receiving treatment in an intensive care unit and 271 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Update on vaccinations
The province says that 61,679 people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Some 327,000 doses have been administered since the province’s vaccination rollout began last month.
Of those doses, 10,215 were administered in the previous day.