Ontario reported a considerable drop in new COVID-19 cases and deaths on Monday, which could be partially explained by a corresponding fall in testing rates to the lowest point seen in two weeks.
The province reported 2,578 new cases and 24 new deaths on Monday, on the strength of 40,000 test specimens, or 20,000 fewer than what was processed the day before.
Ontario reported 3,422 new cases on Sunday and 3,056 on Saturday.
The seven-day average now stands at 3,074, which is down 10 per cent from this time last week (3,394).
“Locally, there are 815 new cases in Toronto, 507 in Peel, 151 in York Region, 151 in Niagara and 121 in Hamilton,” Health Minister Christine Elliott wrote on Twitter.
Approximately 421 people have died of novel coronavirus infection in the past seven days. Fourteen of the 24 deaths reported on Monday involved residents of the long-term care system.
Monday’s case total is the lowest Ontario has seen since Jan. 1.
There are now 28,621 active cases of infection across the province, down from a peak of 30,141 six days ago.
Provincial labs processed 40,301 test specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 6.6 per cent. A further 18,481 specimens remained under investigation on Monday.
The number of tests processed is the lowest Ontario labs have completed in a 24-hour period since Jan. 5.
More than 400 patients are receiving care in intensive care for COVID-19 symptoms across the province, with the number of intubated patients climbing by 10 to 303 on Monday.
There were a total of 1,571 patients admitted to hospitals across Ontario for novel coronavirus infection on Monday, up one from Sunday.
Meanwhile the number of long-term care homes facing an outbreak of COVID-19 grew by 2 to 248 of Ontario’s 626 facilities.
Elsewhere in the GTA, Hamilton reported 121 new cases, Halton Region reported 79 new cases and Durham Region reported 76 new cases.
The province says it administered 9,691 more COVID-19 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 209,788.
More than 21,000 people have received the full two-dose regimen.