Ontario records slight drop in COVID-19 cases with fewer than 800 new infections

Ontario is reporting a slight drop in new COVID-19 cases with fewer than 800 new infections logged.

Health officials reported 744 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, which is a drop from the 914 infections added on Friday. 

It’s also the first time in three days that Ontario has marked a decrease in new cases. 

Ontario added 699 new cases on Tuesday, 733 on Wednesday and 870 on Thursday. It's the sixth day cases have been under 1,000.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said Thursday the uptick in cases could be related to gatherings on the Victoria Day long weekend.

"I hope we don't have a continual rise over the weekend," Dr. David Williams said on Thursday. "Getting over 1,000 again, that would be disappointing to say the least."

Williams will review the COVID-19 data from the weekend before advising Premier Doug Ford whether Ontario can enter Step 1 earlier than June 14.

Ontario also added 24 additional COVID-19-related deaths in the previous day, bringing the total number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic to 8,844.

Currently in Ontario, 625 people are in the hospital due to the disease, with 516 patients in intensive case units. At least 362 of those in the ICU are breathing with the help of a ventilator.

With 27,819 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate remained at 3.1 per cent on Saturday. 

The seven-day rolling average of new cases has now dropped to 844.

There are 181 new COVID-19 cases in Toronto, 123 in Peel Region, and 61 in Hamilton. Waterloo reported 51 new infections, while York Region and Porcupine Health Unit both added 48 new cases.

In Ontario, 963,257 people are fully vaccinated after receiving two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to officials.

Over the last 24-hour period, 172,855 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the province, bringing the total number of inoculations in Ontario to more than 9.6 million.