Ontario marks highest daily COVID-19 case count in months with more than 900 new infections

Ontario health officials are reporting more than 900 new COVID-19 cases, marking the highest case count seen in months.

The province confirmed 944 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, which comes after officials logged 807 cases on Friday and 865 cases on Thursday.

The last time the province reported more than 944 new cases in a single day was on May 30, when officials recorded 1,033 new cases.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 747, up from 686 at this point last week. The province’s seven-day average has been increasing for weeks now.

With 26,259 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in the province is 3.5 per cent.

Of the new infections reported Saturday, 736 cases involved people who are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown. The remaining 208 infections involved people who are fully vaccinated.

The province recorded nine new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total death tally in the province to 9,545.

Five of the nine deaths reported today occurred more than two months ago, the Ministry of Health said. The deaths are being reported as part of a data catch-up.

The province stated at least 309 people are in hospital due to COVID-19, including 32 people who are fully vaccinated and 277 people who are either not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.

At least 172 patients are in intensive care in Ontario hospitals and 97 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province deemed 728 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Saturday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 552,976.

Today’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 568,822, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO

Most of the new cases were found in parts of the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 181 new cases in Toronto, 118 new cases in Peel Region, 112 new cases in York Region and 28 new cases in Durham Region.

Officials also reported 113 new cases in Windsor-Essex, 92 new cases in Hamilton, 51 new cases in Simcoe Muskoka, 39 new cases in Ottawa, 35 new cases in Niagara Region ad 30 new cases in Waterloo region.

All other regions reported fewer than 30 new cases of the disease.

The latest modelling data from the province showed that Ontario is facing a "substantial" fourth wave of the pandemic and could see daily case counts reach 9,000 by October in a worst-case scenario if residents do not reduce their contacts.

In a more optimistic scenario, based on a 30 per cent reduction in contacts, the predictions found that case counts could begin declining within days and dip under 500 by October.

The forecasters are recommending that large gatherings be limited and that work-from-home arrangements continue in order to reduce contacts.

VARIANTS OF CONCERN IN ONTARIO UPDATE

The province detected several more cases of variants of concern on Saturday. Officials are analyzing cases on an ongoing basis to detect mutations and variants of concerns.

The province confirmed one new case of Alpha B.1.1.7 on Saturday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 146,429.

Officials identified no new cases of the Beta B.1.351 or the Gamma P.1 variants and so their total case counts remained at 1,501 and 5,222, respectively.

As for the Delta variant, also known as the B.1.617 variant, officials reported 516 new cases of the strain, which brings the total number in the province to 11,835.

MORE THAN 10M PEOPLE FULLY VACCINATED IN ONTARIO

The province reports that 10,031,003 people in Ontario have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered fully vaccinated against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said 45,886 doses of the vaccine were administered to Ontario residents.

Just over 20.9 million vaccine doses have been administered in the province since the rollout began last year.