Provincial health officials say Ontario logged more than 2,900 new COVID-19 cases today and more than 3,000 on Sunday, driving the number of active infections above 25,000 for the first time in months.
According to Ontario’s ministry of health, 2,938 new cases were reported today and 3,041 infections were recorded on Sunday.
The number of infections confirmed over the past two days are in line with daily case counts reported earlier this weekend. The province reported 3,009 new cases on Saturday and 3,089 on Friday.
Approximately 36,600 tests were completed over the past 24 hours and nearly 46,400 tests were processed one day prior. According to the province, today’s positivity rate is 7.8 per cent, the highest it has been since January 12.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 2,758, up from 2,094 just one week ago.
Another 22 virus-related deaths were confirmed in Ontario over the past two days, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 7,450. The average daily death toll is up week-over-week, from 14 last Monday to 16 today.
Intensive care admissions continue to reach alarming levels, with a record 494 COVID-19 patients currently in ICUs across Ontario, according to the latest numbers from the province.
According to information released by local public health units, there are at least 1,232 people with COVID-19 receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals.
The number of known active COVID-19 cases in Ontario is now 25,487, up from 18,965 one week ago.
Of the new cases reported today, 906 are in Toronto, 533 are in Peel Region, 391 are in York Region, 230 are in Ottawa, and 140 are in Durham Region.
Province’s shutdown won’t lead to ‘significant improvement’ in hot spots
Ontario is entering its first full week of the Ford government’s provincewide shutdown, halting in-person dining in all regions and closing gyms and other businesses, with the exception of retail stores, for at least a month.
Some experts have been critical of the new measures, suggesting that they do not go far enough to address the situation in some of the province’s COVID-19 hot spots, including Toronto and Peel Region.
“When you look at where transmission is occurring and you look at the measures that were in place before this announcement was made and then you look at what measures are here now, nothing really changes in many of the high-burden areas… Toronto and Peel have over a thousand new cases per day combined and they moved from grey zone into grey zone,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force, told CP24 on Monday morning.
“Things are even a little bit more permissive than they were a while ago so I just don’t think we can expect significant improvement, if any, especially in these hot spots in Toronto and Peel and other places that were already in the grey zone. I don’t think it would come to anyone’s surprise if we continue to see cases climb.”
The more transmissible variants of concern propelled Ontario into a third wave of the pandemic last month and to date, 2,135 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom, have been confirmed by provincial labs. More than 26,000 cases in Ontario have screened positive for a variant of concern but the lineage has not yet been determined through a lengthy process known as whole genome sequencing. The B.1.1.7 variant is believed to be the dominant strain for all new COVID-19 cases in Ontario.
More than 2.5 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in the province, which began Phase 2 of the Ford government’s vaccination rollout plan at the beginning of the month.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.