Ontario's COVID-19 case count crosses 500,000 as province logs more than 2,700 new infections
TORONTO -- Ontario health officials are reporting more than 2,700 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the province's lab-confirmed case total past 500,000.
The 2,759 new cases logged Thursday mark an increase over the previous day's total when 2,320 were added. On Tuesday, the province reported another 2,073 cases, marking the lowest single-day case count in more than a month.
With 47,638 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says Ontario's COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 5.7 per cent.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has seen 502,171 cases of the disease across the province, including 464,531 infections that are considered to be resolved. That number also includes 8,405 COVID-19-related deaths, of which 31 were reported since yesterday.
The seven-day average for number of cases reported is 2,730. A week ago, that number was 3,368 and two weeks ago it was 3,810.
Currently, there are 29,235 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
Meanwhile, the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 has dropped to 1,632 while the number of patients in intensive care remains at 776.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The province said that most of the cases reported Thursday were found Toronto (774), Peel Region (602), and York Region (258).
Triple digit case counts were also reported in Durham Region (147), Hamilton (133), Ottawa (110), and Halton Region (104).
The entire province is currently under a stay-at-home order which is set to expire on May 20.
On Wednesday, the Ontario Medical Association said the province is not ready to lift the order and should extend the lockdown beyond that date.
Provincial health officials have hinted that the measure would be extended past May 20, but an official announcement has not been made.
Ontario's Chief Medical officer of Health Dr. David Williams said earlier this week that the province would need to see daily COVID-19 case counts below the 1,000 mark before significantly loosening restrictions.
Another 2,737 cases of COVID-19 U.K. variant confirmed
In the past 24 hours, the province said it found 2,737 more cases of the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.7.
This brings the case total for the strain, which was first found in the U.K., to 101,232.
At least 44 more cases of the strain known as P.1 (Brazilian variant) were found, bringing the case total to 1,727.
Labs also recorded six more instances of the B.1.351 mutation (South African variant), which brings the case total for that strain to 574.
The province does not currently report the number of B.1.617 (Indian variant) infections that are found in the province.
Update on COVID-19 vaccinations
More than 137,697 COVID-19 vaccines were administered across Ontario on Wednesday.
So far, 6.6 million people have received a single dose and 407,600 people are considered to be fully vaccinated.
The province said yesterday that it was actively working on plan for how to use some 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that will arrive next week.
On Tuesday, Dr. Williams announced that the province would be pausing the use of that brand of vaccine as a first dose amid an increase in reports of rare, but potentially fatal, blood clots.
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.