Ontario reports 864 new COVID-19 cases as daily testing increases

Ontario is reporting 864 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a jump from the last two days which saw counts under 600 however daily testing numbers continue to increase. The provincial case total now stands at 577,253.

Of the 864 new cases recorded, the data showed 533 were unvaccinated people, 56 were partially vaccinated people, 209 were fully vaccinated people and for 66 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Thursday’s report, 162 cases were recorded in Toronto, 122 in Peel Region, 78 in York Region, 64 in Ottawa, 53 in Hamilton and 50 in Windsor-Essex.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 50 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,632 with three deaths that occurred within the last month, Ontario’s ministry of health said.

Read more: Ontario businesses prepare for ‘kick-back’ a week before new vaccination requirements begin

Vaccinations, recoveries, testing, 7-day average in Ontario

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 35,271 vaccines (15,271 for a first shot and 20,192 for a second shot) were administered in the last day.

There are more than 10.2 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 78.5 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage stands at 84.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, 561,492 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 97 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 668 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 6,129 — up from the previous day when it was at 5,936, and is also up from Sept. 9 when it was at 6,056. At the peak of the second wave coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit just above 30,000. In the third wave in April, active cases topped 43,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 732 which is the up from yesterday’s at 722, and is up from last week when it was 723. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 500.

The government said 34,365 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, the most number of tests since late May. There is currently a backlog of 16,278 tests awaiting results.

Test positivity hit 2.4 per cent. Last week, test positivity was at 3.1 per cent.

Read more: City of Toronto holding ‘Days of Vaxtion’ in bid to boost COVID-19 vaccination coverage

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 348 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (up by two from the previous day) with 191 patients in intensive care units (up by three) and 167 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by two).

Provincial officials recently announced they would start including the vaccination status of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 as part of their daily COVID-19 data reporting. They noted the new dataset will grow and improve over time as more information is collected.

For those in general hospital wards with COVID, 146 were unvaccinated, 9 were partially vaccinated and 29 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 115 were unvaccinated while 10 were partially vaccinated and 13 were fully vaccinated.

In the third wave peak, which was the worst wave for hospitalizations, the province saw as many as 900 patients in ICUs with COVID. The province’s data has recorded 5,743 patients in total have ever been in ICU with 29,510 patients having been hospitalized due to COVID since the start of the pandemic.

Variants of concern in Ontario

Officials have listed breakdown data for the new VOCs (variants of concern) detected so far in the province which consists of:

“Alpha” the B.1.1.7 VOC (first detected in the United Kingdom): 146,452 variant cases, which is up by one case. This strain dominated Ontario’s third wave.

“Delta” the B.1.617.2 VOC (first detected in India): 15,925 variant cases, which is up by 236 since the previous day. This strain is dominating Ontario’s fourth wave.

“Beta” the B.1.351 VOC (first detected in South Africa): 1,502 variant cases, which is unchanged since the previous day.

“Gamma” the P.1 VOC (first detected in Brazil): 5,227 variant cases, which is unchanged since the previous day.

NOTE: It takes several days for positive COVID-19 tests to be re-examined for the exact variant. Therefore, there may be more variant cases than overall cases in daily reporting.

More to come.

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