Ontario reports under 600 new COVID-19 cases as test positivity drops


Ontario is reporting 593 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the second straight day the count is under 600 even with a notable increase in testing. The provincial case total now stands at 576,389.

Of the 593 new cases recorded, the data showed 348 were unvaccinated people, 44 were partially vaccinated people, 146 were fully vaccinated people and for 55 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Wednesday’s report, 141 cases were recorded in Toronto, 61 in Peel Region, 46 in Ottawa, 45 in Windsor-Essex, 39 in York Region, 38 in Hamilton, and 34 in Niagara.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 30 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 9,629 with four deaths that occurred within the last month and one death that occurred more than a month ago due to data cleanup, Ontario’s ministry of health said.

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

As of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 35,691 vaccines (15,171 for a first shot and 20,520 for a second shot) were administered in the last day.

There are more than 10.2 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 78.4 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage stands at 84.6 per cent.

Meanwhile, 560,824 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 97 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 755  from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 5,936 — down from the previous day when it was at 6,103, and is also down from Sept. 8 when it was at 6,040. 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.

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The seven-day average has now reached 722 which is the up from yesterday’s at 717, but is down from last week when it was 732. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 500.

The government said 33,220 tests were processed in the last 24 hours, the most number of tests since early June. There is currently a backlog of 18,006 tests awaiting results.

Test positivity hit 2.5 per cent. Last week, test positivity was at 3.3 per cent.

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 346 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by 17 from the previous day) with 188 patients in intensive care units (down by four) and 165 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (down by one).

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, 148 were unvaccinated, 7 were partially vaccinated and 35 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 116 were unvaccinated while 10 were partially vaccinated and 10 were fully vaccinated.

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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 5,734 patients in total have ever been in ICU with 29,470 patients having been hospitalized due to COVID since the start of the pandemic.

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:

“Alpha” the B.1.1.7 VOC (first detected in the United Kingdom): 146,451 variant cases, which four cases were removed. This strain dominated Ontario’s third wave.

“Delta” the B.1.617.2 VOC (first detected in India): 15,689 variant cases, which is up by 411 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): 5,227 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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