Ontario reports fewer than 2,700 new cases of COVID-19 as positivity rate continues to drop

Ontario health officials are reporting less than 2,700 new cases of COVID-19 as the province’s positivity rate dropped for the third day in a row.

The province logged 2,662 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, as well as 87 more deaths related to the disease.

With more than 71,000 COVID-19 tests conducted, Ontario Ministry of Health said the positivity rate for the province dropped to 3.3 per cent on Friday, the lowest seen since Dec. 12 when it stood at 3.2 per cent.

The province’s seven-day average for the number of infections recorded is now 2,702, down from 3,273 one week ago.

Of the 87 COVID-19-related deaths reported on Friday, health officials said that 43 were residents in long-term care homes.

In total, the province has recorded 5,701 deaths related the disease.

Officials reported that 1,512 people are currently in hospital due to the disease. Of those patients, more than 383 are in intensive care, and 291 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Health-care workers have said some hospitals are currently struggling to provide medical care not related to COVID-19 to patients due to the volumes of people battling the disease in intensive care units.

The province warned that when more than 300 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, medical care in hospitals not related to the disease becomes nearly impossible to handle.

The province also deemed 3,375 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Friday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 219,262.

Friday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 250,226, including deaths and recoveries.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Of the 2,662 cases reported on Friday, health officials said that 779 were in Toronto, 542 were in Peel Region and 228 were in York Region.

Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the triple digits, including Waterloo (128), Windsor-Essex (118) and Halton Region (102).

Ontario Premier Doug Ford implemented a stay-at-home order for the province on Jan. 14. The order will remain in effect for at least 28 days.

Earlier this week, Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said the number of new COVID-19 cases reported daily should be “around or below 1,000” before the lockdown orders can be lifted.

There were 71,750 COVID-19 tests completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period. There are 41,819 COVID-19 tests under investigation.

In total, Ontario has processed more than 9.1 million tests since the pandemic began in January.

As of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, 264,985 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 11,168 doses administered in the past 24 hours. The vaccine requires a booster shot and, as such, 49,292 complete vaccinations have been completed as of Friday. 

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