Ontario reports more than 1,100 new COVID-19 cases, 16 additional deaths

More than 1,100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ontario Saturday.

The 1,185 infections mark a slight decrease from Friday’s total when 1,258 cases were logged. Before the release of Saturday’s report, new COVID-19 cases in the province had been increasing daily over the past four days.

This brings Ontario’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 case count to 299,754, including 282,315 recoveries and 6,960 deaths.

Provincial health officials said that 16 of those deaths occurred in the last 24-hour period.

With 59,416 tests processed in the previous day, Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate stands at 2.1 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

The seven-day average for number of cases reported in Ontario is currently 1,107. This time last week, that number was 1,016.

Right now, there are 10,479 active cases of COVID-19 across the province.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new infections were reported in Toronto (331), Peel Region (220) and York Region (119).

York Region moved back into the province’s colour-coded reopening framework on Monday. Currently operating under the red “control” level, non-essential businesses like restaurants and gyms were given the go ahead to reopen with strict public health measures in place.

The stay-at-home order remains in effect for both Toronto and Peel Region and is set to expire on March 8.

On Friday, the province used its “emergency brake” and announced that both Simcoe-Muskoka and Thunder Bay would be moving into the grey “lockdown” level of the framework as of March 1 amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in those regions.

Meanwhile, Niagara Region will move from the grey zone to the red on the same date, meaning a slight easing of public health restrictions in the area.

There are currently 680 people in hospital with COVID-19. Of those patients, 276 are being treated in an intensive care unit and 182 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator. 

COVID-19 variants of concern in Ontario

The number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 variants in Ontario has increased by 42 cases, the province said.

Health officials say there are now 508 documented cases of B.1.1.7 (UK variant), marking an increase of 31 infections in the previous day. As well, another 11 infections of B.1.351 (South African variant) were reported, bringing the case total for that variant to 25.

The number of lab-confirmed cases of P.1 (Brazilian variant) in the province remains unchanged at two.

Earlier this week, the Ontario government’s science table released new modelling data that showed that highly-contagious COVID-19 variants are expected to account for roughly 40 per cent of all cases in the province by the second week of March, which could lead to an increase in daily infections and hospitalizations.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

The province says that 668,104 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario since inoculations began in December.

Of those, 260,972 people are considered to be full vaccinated after receiving both their first and second shots.

In the previous day, the province says that 24,339 doses of vaccine were administered.