Ontario health officials are recording nearly 1,400 new cases of COVID-19 as well as 45 more deaths.
The 1,388 new infections represent a decrease from the 1,670 cases reported a day earlier, although government officials said that Friday’s count was an overestimation due to a data migration in Toronto.
Toronto Public Health (TPH) migrated all of its data to the provincial data system this week. While officials say the process is now complete, it has resulted in fluctuations in case numbers over the last few days.
There were 1,563 cases of the novel coronavirus reported on Thursday, 1,172 on Wednesday and 745 on Tuesday.
The new cases reported Saturday bring the province’s seven-day average to 1,479.
According to Saturday’s epidemiology report, there are now 164 confirmed cases of the U.K. B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant in the province, up from the 155 infections reported on Friday.
There continues to be only one case of the South African B.1.351 variant, according to the province.
The total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario now stand at 276,718, including deaths and recoveries.
Of the 6,483 deaths recorded in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic, 4,454 were people over the age of 80. A little more than 3,700 were residents in long-term care homes, including 22 deaths logged in the last 24 hours.
There are at least 1,021 people being treated for the disease in Ontario hospitals, the Ministry of Health said. Of those patients, at least 325 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) while 228 of those in the ICU are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
Officials processed more than 62,300 COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours, which the Ministry of Health says brings the positivity rate in Ontario to about 2.6 per cent.
As of Friday night, 96,573 people in the province have been fully vaccinated against the disease. Full immunization requires two doses of either the approved Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna vaccines.
Where are the new COVID-19 cases?
The majority of new infections were found in three of Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots. According to provincial data, there were 455 cases in Toronto, 288 in Peel Region and 131 in York Region.
Public Health Units reporting more than 50 new COVID-19 cases include Ottawa (60), Hamilton (57), Niagara (56) and Waterloo (54).
On Friday, sources told both CTV News Toronto and the Canadian Press that the Ontario government is considering extending the stay-at-home order across most of province but could begin to gradually reopen the economy in some areas next week.
Sources told CTV News Toronto that Ford's cabinet was urged by public health officials to extend the stay-at-home order for at least one more week – until Feb. 16 – across most of the province, while pushing it an additional two weeks – until Feb. 22 – in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.
It is unclear if any formal decision has been made.