Ontario reports nearly 2,100 new COVID-19 cases as test positivity rate surges
TORONTO -- Ontario is reporting more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the fifth straight day as the province’s positivity rate surges to levels not seen in more than two months.
Health officials confirmed 2,094 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, which comes after the province logged 2,453 infections on Saturday and 2,448 infections on Sunday.
With just over 39,000 COVID-19 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported the province’s positivity rate on Monday rose to 6.1 per cent from 4.5 per cent on Saturday and Sunday.
The last time the province’s COVID-19 positivity rate climbed above six per cent was on Jan. 19, at the height of the second wave, when it stood at 6.8 per cent.
The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,094, up from 1,599 one week ago.
Health officials also reported that 10 more people have died in Ontario due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 7,337 deaths related to the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
Experts and medical professionals were sounding the alarm on Monday, saying that hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions due to COVID-19 are rising steadily.
On Monday, officials reported that 841 people are currently in hospital due to the disease, but they noted that not all hospitals submitted their latest data.
At least 382 of those patients in Ontario hospitals are in intensive care, and 236 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province also deemed 1,524 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Monday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 318,932.
Monday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 345,234, including the deaths and recoveries.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Most of the new cases reported on Monday are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 618 new cases in Toronto, 368 in Peel Region and 277 in York Region.
Several other regions reported infection totals in the triple digits, including Ottawa, which reported 132 new cases and Durham Region, which reported 104 new cases.
The City of Hamilton, which reported 61 new cases of the disease on Monday, entered the strictest grey-lockdown phase of Ontario's pandemic response plan today to curb the spread of the disease.
Variants in Ontario
Since the province began actively searching for COVID-19 variants of concern in Ontario, there have been 18,907 mutations discovered in lab-positive tests.
Of those mutations, officials found 585 in the last 24-hour period.
While the province has discovered thousands of variant mutations, only 1,894 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.
There are at least 1,749 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant in Ontario, as well as 63 B.1.351 variant and 82 P.1. variant.
More than 311K people fully vaccinated in Ontario
The province reports that 311,248 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered immunized against the disease.
In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 50,453 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.
The province lowered the minimum age for COVID-19 vaccines in 10 more public health units on Monday.
People born in 1951 and earlier can now use the provincial system to book their shots in the regions, which include Hamilton, Grey Bruce, Peel and Ottawa.
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