TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting nearly 1,700 new COVID-19 infections as the positivity rate for the disease reaches its highest level since late January.

The 1,699 new cases represent a slight decrease from Sunday’s total when 1,791 were reported. On Saturday, the province logged 1,829 cases, which was the highest since Feb. 1.

Labs across Ontario processed 31,089 tests in the last 24 hours, yielding a positivity rate of 5.4 per cent. The last time Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate was that high was on Jan. 26 when it reached 5.9 per cent.

Monday’s report brings the province’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 case total to 330,573, including 308,578 recoveries and 7,244 deaths. The province said that three of those deaths were recorded in the previous day.

The seven-day average for number of infections logged is 1,599. A week ago, the average was 1,349.

There are currently 14,751 active cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.  

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

The province says that 500 of the cases reported Monday were found in Toronto. Another 318 cases were found in Peel Region and 155 were found in York Region.

Toronto and Peel Region are currently operating in the grey-lockdown level of the province’s colour-coded framework. The public health restrictions in this level were adjusted Friday to allow for outdoor dining in these areas.

York Region is placed in the red-control level of the same framework. Dining rules in this level were also adjusted Friday to allow for up to 50 per cent capacity or 50 people (whichever is less) in any indoor dining area.

Other public health units that reported notable COVID-19 case counts Monday include Hamilton (114), Ottawa (85), and Durham Region (79).

Right now, there are 813 people in hospital with COVID-19, representing an increase of 53 patients in the last 24 hours.

Of those patients, at least 298 are being treated in intensive care and 186 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.  

More than 50 new cases of COVID-19 U.K. variant discovered

Health officials found another 53 cases of the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) since yesterday. There are now 1,340 lab-confirmed cases of that variant in Ontario.

An additional case of the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.351 (South African variant) was also found. There are now 48 confirmed cases of that variant.

The number of infections of the COVID-19 variant known as P.1 (Brazilian variant) stands unchanged at 36.

At least 13,228 COVID-19 swabs have tested positive for a mutation since the province began searching for variants of concern. Nearly 600 of those swabs were flagged in the previous day.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

The province says it has administered 1,553,040 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since it began inoculating people in December.

Nearly 300,000 people have received their first and second shots and are considered to be fully vaccinated by the Ministry of Health.

The news comes as Ontario residents, aged 75 or older, can now start booking their COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the government's online system. 


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.