TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting more than 300 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since late June.

The province confirmed 340 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday. This is the highest case count reported since June 26 when officials logged 346 infections.

Today’s case count comes after officials reported 213 new cases on Thursday. Before that, the daily case counts dipped below the 170 mark for three days.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 214, up from 170 at this point last week. The seven-day average has been climbing steadily for the past several days.

With 23,448 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in the province stands at 1.4 per cent.

The province recorded 18 new deaths on Friday, bringing the total death tally in the province to 9,392.

Sixteen of the deaths reported today occurred more than six weeks ago, the Ministry of Health said. The deaths are being reported as part of a data catch-up.

There are at least 114 patients in intensive care in Ontario hospitals and 76 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province deemed 149 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Friday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 540,407.

Today’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 551,678, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO

In the Greater Toronto Area, officials reported 80 new cases in Toronto, 41 new cases in York Region, 36 new cases in Peel Region, 13 new cases in Durham Region and seven new cases in Halton Region.

Officials also reported 23 new cases in Windsor, 22 new cases in Waterloo, 15 new cases each in Hamilton and in London, 14 new cases in the Grey Bruce Health Unit area and 10 new cases each in Ottawa and in Niagara.

All other regions reported fewer than 10 new cases of the disease.

Ontario is currently in Step 3 of its reopening plan. The province is operating under the loosest set of public health restrictions observed in months. In order to move to a complete reopening, the province has set certain vaccination targets.

VARIANTS OF CONCERN IN ONTARIO UPDATE

The province detected several more cases of variants of concern on Friday. Officials are analyzing cases on an ongoing basis to detect mutations and variants of concerns.

The province confirmed an additional 16 new cases of Alpha B.1.1.7 on Friday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 145,559.

Officials identified no new cases of the Beta B.1.351 variant and so the total case count in the province remains at 1,493.

In addition, the province also found two new cases of the Gamma P.1 variant, which brings its total number of cases to 5,170.

As for the Delta variant, also known as the B.1.617 variant, officials reported 43 new cases of the strain, which brings the total number in the province to 5,137.

MORE THAN 9.2M PEOPLE FULLY VACCINATED IN ONTARIO

The province reports that 9,231,765 people in Ontario have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered fully vaccinated against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said 53,975 doses of the vaccine were administered to Ontario residents.

Just over 19.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in the province since the rollout began last year.