Ontario reports fewer than 700 new COVID-19 cases for first time since October

Ontario health officials are reporting fewer than 700 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in more than seven months.

The province confirmed 699 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, which comes after officials logged 916 cases on Monday.

The last time Ontario reported fewer than 699 cases was on Oct. 18, 2020 when officials reported 658 new cases of the disease.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 1,029, down from 1,693 at this point last week.

With 20,262 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate dropped from 4.3 per cent on Monday to 3.6 per cent on Tuesday.

Ontario also added nine COVID-19-related deaths in the previous 24-hour period, bringing the total number of fatalities to 8,766.

There are currently 804 people in hospital due to the disease. At least 583 of these patients are in intensive care and 335 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province deemed 1,568 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 511,703.

Tuesday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 532,158, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO

Most of the new cases reported are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 207 new cases in Toronto, 144 new cases in Peel Region, 50 new cases in Durham Region and 52 new cases in York Region.

The province confirmed an additional 762 new cases of B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) in Ontario on Tuesday. The total case count for the strain now stands at 126,707.

Officials identified one new case of B.1.351 (South African variant), bringing the total case count in the province to 949.

In addition, the province added 45 more cases of P.1 (Brazilian variant), which brings its total number of cases to 2,867.

Ontario does not currently report how many cases of the B.1.617 variant, originally found in India, are found in the province.

MORE THAN 739K PEOPLE FULLY VACCINATED IN ONTARIO

The province reports that 739,722 people in Ontario have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered vaccinated against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said 120,195 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province. Officials have repeatedly said they have the capacity to give about 150,000 vaccines a day.

A total of 9,202,220 vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario since the rollout began earlier this year.

The City of Toronto says that more than 70 per cent of adults will have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of today.

In a news release, the city says that some 1,778,000 people over the age of 18 have had the shot since its vaccination campaign began in December.

“This milestone is evidence that residents have confidence in COVID19 vaccines & are doing their part to fight the pandemic,” Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a tweet.

The city went on to say there is a need to continue the vaccination “momentum” as the province has said that the rate of inoculation is a “key consideration” in the upcoming reopening plan.