Ontario reported 1,563 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, but health officials noted earlier this week that fluctuations in case numbers were likely over the next few days due to a recent data migration.
Provincial health officials said another 88 people have died as a result of the virus, bringing the total to 6,393. The highest number of deaths reported during the second wave was 89 on Jan. 20.
Most of the new infections are in Toronto (584), followed by Peel Region (265), and York Region (132).
The migration of Toronto Public Health’s data to the provincial case-management system has been affecting the daily case numbers since Tuesday.
The province reported 745 new cases on Tuesday, but a number was not provided for Toronto. There were 1,172 new cases on Wednesday, which included an update from Toronto Public Health, but that number was likely under-reported as well.
Ministry of Health officials said Tuesday that other public health units may have also been affected and that they “anticipate fluctuations in case numbers over the next few days.”
The province said 64,467 tests were completed on Wednesday with a test positive rate of 2.6 per cent and 6,724 additional doses of the vaccine were administered. A total of 80,977 have now been fully vaccinated in Ontario.
As of Thursday’s update, 1,101 of people have been hospitalized and 323 are in intensive care.
There were another 1,956 recoveries reported Thursday, outpacing the new cases. This brings the number of active cases in the province down to 16,330.
On Wednesday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce said that students in COVID-19 hotspots — Toronto, Peel and York regions – will return to in-class learning after the Family Day long weekend on Feb. 16.
Students in 13 public health units, including Hamilton and Windsor will resume in-person learning on Monday.
All students in Ontario began January with online learning as part of a provincial lockdown.
The province then took a staggered approach to reopening schools, allowing those in northern Ontario and rural areas to resume in-person learning first.
With files from The Canadian Press