Ontario health officials say 45 more people have died as a result of COVID-19 in the province, with new cases below 1,700.
As of Friday’s update, the total death toll now sits at 6,438. A majority (3,697) of the people who have died were residents living in long-term care.
The province reports 1,670 new infections, a rise from 1,563 cases the day before. Most of the new cases are in Toronto (667), followed by Peel Region (317), York Region (125), and Halton (100).
Health officials have noted that updates to a provincial database this week are causing data fluctuations in the case counts.
“Toronto Public Health is reporting 125 additional cases today that were not fully migrated during the CCM transition, resulting in a slight overestimation of today’s overall case numbers,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
According to provincial data, 1,043 people are being treated in hospital with 325 in intensive care and 225 on ventilators.
The province said more than 62,700 tests were completed on Thursday, and 362,749 doses of the vaccine have been administered overall.
So far, Ontario has recorded 155 cases of a variant that first emerged in the U.K. and one case of another that first emerged in South Africa.
Both are believed to be more infectious and health officials have said they expect more cases will be detected.
On Thursday, health officials noted variants of COVID-19 were found in 5.5 per cent of cases screened on a single day in January. The majority of those were linked to an outbreak at a nursing home in Simcoe-Muskoka.
Public Health Ontario screened 1,880 positive samples from Jan. 20 and found variants in 103 cases. It said 89 of those were cases in the Simcoe-Muskoka health unit, where a deadly long-term care outbreak was driven by that strain.