Ontario reports more than 3,200 new COVID-19 cases for first time in months

Ontario health officials reported more than 3,200 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time in several months.

The province confirmed 3,215 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday. The last time officials logged that many cases was on Jan 17, at the height of the second wave, when 3,422 new infections were reported.

Wednesday’s total marks an increase from the 3,065 infections reported Tuesday and the 2,938 infections reported on Monday.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 2,987, up from 2,316 one week ago.

With 49,889 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the province says its COVID-19 positivity rate now stands at 6.7 per cent.

Health officials also reported that 17 more people have died in Ontario due to COVID-19. In total, the province has seen 7,475 deaths related to the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

The province reported that 1,397 people are currently in hospital due to the disease. At least 504 of these patients are being treated in intensive care and 311 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province also deemed 2,407 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 335,983.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 370,817, including deaths and recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Most of the new cases reported on Wednesday are concentrated in hot spot regions in the Greater Toronto Area. Officials reported 1,095 new cases in Toronto, 596 in Peel Region and 342 in York Region.

Several other regions reported infection totals in the triple digits, including Ottawa, which reported 225 new cases, Durham Region, which reported 187 new cases, Middlesex-London, which reported 113 new cases, and Hamilton, which reported 104 new cases.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford is expected to announce a province-wide stay-at-home order on Wednesday. The order would close all non-essential businesses for in-person shopping by Thursday for at least a month in order to deal with the third wave of the disease.

Variants in Ontario

Since the province began actively searching for COVID-19 variants of concern in Ontario, there have been 28,912 mutations discovered in lab-positive tests.

Of those mutations, officials found 1,719 in the last 24-hour period.

While the province has discovered thousands of variant mutations, only 2,483 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.

There are at least 2,291 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant in Ontario, as well as 72 B.1.351 variant and 120 P.1. variant.

More than 324K people fully vaccinated in Ontario

The province reports that 324,783 people in Ontario have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now considered immunized against the disease.

In the last 24-hour period, officials said that 104,382 doses of the vaccine were administered to residents in the province.