Ontario logs more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for fifth day in a row

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the fifth straight day.

On Thursday, provincial health officials logged 1,092 infections of the novel coronavirus, as well as 10 more deaths linked to the disease.

Daily case counts in Ontario have hovered slightly above or below the 1,000 mark for much of the past few weeks.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,251, up from 1,063 one week ago.

There were 60,619 COVID-19 tests completed in Ontario in the last-recorded 24-hour period. The test positivity rate now stands at about 2.4 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the new cases logged Thursday, 293 are in Toronto, 199 are in Peel Region and 79 are in York Region.

Thursday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 313,520, including deaths and recoveries. The province’s death toll is now 7,109.

One of the 10 deaths confirmed by health officials on Thursday was a resident within the province’s long-term care system.

According to the province, there are at least 680 patients infected with the novel coronavirus in Ontario hospitals as of Thursday. Of those patients, 277 are in the intensive care unit (ICU) and 184 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

At this time last week, there were 649 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Ontario, 281 of which were in the ICU and 183 were on a ventilator.

On Thursday, health officials deemed 1,110 more cases of the disease to be resolved, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 295,128.

There are currently 11,283 active cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, up from 10,309 one week ago.

More than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the province thus far, including 40,610 administered in the previous day. In Ontario, 281,714 people are considered to be fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

COVID-19 variants in Ontario

On Thursday, health officials confirmed that 35 more cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, have been found in Ontario, bringing the province’s total count to 956.

There are now 41 cases of the South African variant, B.1.351, in Ontario after health officials confirmed two more on Thursday.

Eleven new cases of the Brazilian variant, P.1, have been found in Ontario as of Thursday, bringing the province’s total to 28.

Modelling data released by the province at the end of February suggested that the highly-contagious COVID-19 variants are expected to make up about 40 per cent of all Ontario cases by the second week of March, leading to a likely increase in daily infections and hospitalizations.

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NOTE: 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.

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