Ontario reports another 135 new cases of COVID-19, four additional deaths

TORONTO — Health officials in Ontario are reporting 135 new cases of COVID-19 as well as four additional deaths linked to the disease.

Wednesday’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the province to 548,609, including 537,975 recoveries and 9,300 deaths.

Labs processed 20,750 tests in the last 24 hours, yielding a positivity rate of 0.8 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

This marks the 13th day in a row in which case numbers in Ontario have remained below 200.

The rolling seven-day average for the number of cases reported across the province stands at 149. A week ago, that number was 164. 

Right now, the province says there are 139 patients in hospital with COVID-19.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the cases reported by the province Wednesday were found in Toronto (34), Waterloo (17), and York Region (14).

Case counts in the double digits were also found in Peel Region (10), Grey Bruce (10), and Halton Region (10).

Ontario is currently in Step 3 of its reopening plan, which allows for the most lenient public health restrictions the province has seen in months.

Premier Doug Ford’s government has said that the final step of its reopening plan, which will see the lifting of virtually all remaining public health restrictions, can’t begin until at least 80 per cent of those 12 and older have been partially vaccinated and 75 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

However, during a briefing on Tuesday, Ontario’s top doctor said that the province needs to get 90 per cent of eligible residents fully vaccinated to account for the risk of the Delta variant.

“Certainly I’d love Ontario to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. The modelling, though, tells us that once we’re at around 90 per cent of the eligible population immunized that the risk of Delta will be less for us,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said. 

54 more cases of COVID-19 variants of concern confirmed

Labs in Ontario confirmed 54 more cases of COVID-19 variants of concern Tuesday.

Of those cases, 21 are of the Alpha variant B.1.1.7. There are 144,823 confirmed cases of that strain in the province.

Eighteen cases are of the Delta variant B.1.617.2, which brings the case total to 3,340.

Another 14 cases were of the Gamma variant and pushes the case total to 4,969.

One case of the Beta variant P.1 was also confirmed. There are 1,467 confirmed cases of that mutation. 

Update on COVID-19 vaccines

Clinics administered 140,491 doses of COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, raising the total number of doses administered throughout the province’s vaccination campaign to 18,429,003.

That number includes 8,165,247 people who have received both doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

With files from CP24’s Chris Fox.

Backstory:

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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