Ontario reports nearly 800 new COVID-19 cases as more students return to class

TORONTO — Health officials in Ontario are reporting close to 800 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday as more students across the province return to the classroom.

The 798 infections logged today mark an increase from the 554 recorded a day earlier.

Of the cases reported Thursday, 620 cases involve individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 178 are in fully vaccinated individuals, the province said.

Right now, there are 365 people in hospital with COVID-19. Those patients include 331 who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 34 who are fully vaccinated.

The number of patients in intensive care with the disease stands at 185, including 174 individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 11 who are fully vaccinated.

Thursday’s data brings Ontario’s rolling seven-day average for the number of cases reported to 722. This time last week that number was 728.

This comes as students in Toronto, Peel, York and Durham boards start their academic year in the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With 29,684 swabs processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says that Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 3.1 per cent.

Another 10 deaths related to the disease were recorded since yesterday, pushing the province’s death toll to 9,579. However, at least seven of those deaths occurred more than a month ago, according to the province. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has seen 572,130 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including deaths and 556,495 recoveries.

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

The province said that most of the cases reported Thursday were found in Toronto (159), Peel Region (73), York Region (72), and Ottawa (72).

Other regions that reported case counts in the high double digits include Windsor-Essex (66) and Hamilton (55).

Update on COVID-19 variants of concern

Labs across Ontario confirmed 295 additional cases of the Delta variant B.1.617.2 in the last 24 hours. There are currently 13,303 confirmed cases of the mutation in the province.

Another three cases of the Alpha variant B.1.1.7 were also found, bringing the case total to 146,440.

Two other cases of the Gamma variant P.1 were also recorded. There are 5,225 confirmed cases of the strain.

No new cases of the Beta variant B.1.351 were logged in the previous day. The case total remains at 1,501. 

This is a breaking news story. More to come. 

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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