Ontario reports 463 new COVID-19 cases, smallest increase in six weeks


Ontario is reporting 463 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the lowest daily caseload seen in six weeks. The provincial case total now stands at 581,231.

It is the fewest number of confirmed cases in a 24-hour period since Aug. 11 when 324 new infections were recorded. Test positivity also fell below 2 per cent, also not seen since that same day.

Of the 463 new cases recorded, the data showed 278 were unvaccinated people, 21 were partially vaccinated people, 131 were fully vaccinated people and for 33 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Wednesday’s report, 93 cases were recorded in Toronto, 54 in Ottawa, 48 in Windsor-Essex, 41 in Peel Region, 30 in York Region and 27 in Hamilton.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 25 new cases in the provincial report.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 9,632, as seven more virus-related deaths were recorded.

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

As of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 40,596 vaccines (16,477 for a first shot and 24,119 for a second shot) were administered in the last day.

There are more than 10.3 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 79.4 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage stands at 85.3 per cent.

Meanwhile, 565,710 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 97 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 783 from the previous day.

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Active cases in Ontario now stand at 5,851 — down from the previous day when it was at 6,178, and is also down from Sept. 15 when it was at 5,936. 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 39,092 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 19,259 tests awaiting results.

Test positivity hit 1.8 per cent, falling below two per cent for the first time since August. Last week, test positivity was at 2.5 per cent.

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Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 299 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by 31 from the previous day) with 187 patients in intensive care units (up by 12) and 162 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by seven).

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, 122 were unvaccinated, 8 were partially vaccinated and 28 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 101 were unvaccinated while 10 were partially vaccinated and 9 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 5,788 patients in total have ever been in ICU with 29,662 patients having been hospitalized due to COVID since the start of the pandemic.

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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:

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

“Delta” the B.1.617.2 VOC (first detected in India): 17,594 variant cases, which is up by 650 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): 5,229 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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