Ontario logs more than 1,600 new COVID-19 cases for first time since late May

Ontario health officials are reporting more than 1,600 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday for the first time since late May.

The province confirmed 1,607 new cases of the novel coronavirus, which comes after case counts rose steadily every day this past week.

Officials reported 1,453 new cases on Friday, 1,290 new cases on Thursday, 1,009 new cases on Wednesday, 928 new cases on Tuesday and 887 new cases on Monday.

Ontario’s rolling seven-day average now stands at 1,194, up from 895 at this point last week.

The last time the province more than 1,600 new infections in a single day was on May 23 when officials logged 1,691 new cases.

With 42,205 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in the province on Saturday stands at about 4.6 per cent.

Of the new infections reported today, 743 cases involved people who are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or their vaccination status is unknown. The remaining 864 infections involved people who are fully vaccinated.

Health experts have said that the number of infections in fully vaccinated individuals will rise as more people get the vaccine.

The province recorded five more deaths on Saturday, bringing the total death tally in the province to 10,070.

There are currently at least 323 people being treated for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals. Health Minister Christine Elliott reported that of those patients, 239 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 84 are fully vaccinated.

The province deemed 786 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Saturday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 610,592.

Today’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 630,671, including deaths and recoveries.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES IN ONTARIO?

In the Greater Toronto Area, officials reported 247 new cases in Toronto, 103 new cases in Peel Region, 96 new cases in York Region, 73 new cases in Halton Region and 56 new cases in Durham Region.

Officials reported 129 new cases in the Kingston area, 123 new cases in Ottawa, 99 new cases each in Simcoe Muskoka and Windsor-Essex, 66 new cases in Niagara Region, 55 new cases in Hamilton and 53 new cases in Waterloo. All other regions reported fewer than 50 new cases on Saturday.

According to the province’s epidemiology report, of the 1,607 new infections reported on Saturday, 371 cases were identified in children under the age of 12.

The province also recorded 147 cases in youth between the ages of 12 and 19 and another 519 cases in people between the ages of 20 and 39.

As well, officials found 392 cases in people between the ages of 40 and 59, 154 cases in people between the ages of 60 and 79 and 22 cases in people over the age of 80.

As of Saturday, 48 cases of the new Omicron variant have been identified in Ontario.

The Ontario government announced on Friday that it will expand booster shot eligibility to residents aged 18 and over as of Jan. 4. Residents must have received their second dose six months prior in order to get their third dose.

The province also announced it will be making its digital or printed QR codes a mandatory part of its proof-of-vaccination system as of Jan. 4. 

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