Ontario reports single-day drop in new COVID-19 cases with fewer than 3,500 logged
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials reported fewer than 3,500 new COVID-19 cases as the positivity rate in the province climbed higher for the second day in a row.
The province confirmed 3,436 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Monday, which comes after officials reported 3,369 new cases on Saturday and 3,732 new cases on Sunday.
With 33,179 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ontario Ministry of Health said its COVID-19 positivity rate increased from 8.5 per cent on Sunday to 9.7 per cent on Monday.
Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 3,577, down from 3,917 at this point last week.
Speaking at a news conference Monday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said that while the province’s case numbers appear to be plateauing, current public health restrictions must remain in place to drive transmission down further.
“This is no time to be casual and to be complacent about it,” Williams said. “We still have to hold tight with all our measures at the moment because we [would] like to drive it down while we get caught up on the vaccines.”
The Ontario government entered a provincewide stay-at-home order last month in order to curb the spread of the deadly disease. The order is expected to last at least until May 20.
The province also reported that 16 more people have died due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 8,118 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.
There are currently more than 1,925 people in hospital due to the disease. At least 889 of these patients are in intensive care and 611 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The province deemed 3,623 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Monday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 428,786.
Monday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 473,901, including deaths and recoveries.
Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?
Most of the new cases reported are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 985 new cases in Toronto, 714 in Peel Region and 351 in York Region.
Several other regions reported new infection totals in the triple digits, including Durham Region (271), Hamilton (194), Halton Region (159), Ottawa (130), Niagara Region (127), Waterloo (106) and Simcoe Muskoka (101).
Variants in Ontario
The province reported 3,033 new cases of the B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) in Ontario on Monday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 75,346.
Officials identified 10 new cases of the B.1.351 (South African variant), and so the total case count in the province rose to 301.
In addition, the province added 45 more cases of the P.1 (Brazilian variant), which brings its total number of cases to 920.
Ontario does not currently report how many cases of the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India, are found in the province.
More than 375K people fully vaccinated in Ontario
The province reports that 375,905 people in Ontario have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered vaccinated against the disease.
In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 53,880 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.
On Monday, people 18 and older living in the 114 specific neighbourhoods, which have been designated as COVID-19 hot spots, were able to book their vaccine using the provincial booking system for the first time.