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Ontario reports 11 new COVID-19 deaths as average case count climbs

Last Updated Mar 13, 2021 at 11:15 am EDT

A person wears a disposable mask to protect them from the COVID-19 virus while walking past information about not to gather and avoid parties in Kingston, Ontario on Wednesday, March 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

Ontario is reporting 11 additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday as the average number of new cases continues to rise.

Provincial officials confirmed 1,468 new cases, bringing the seven-day rolling average up to 1,337. It was sitting at 1,034 just a week ago.

It’s the seventh straight day new case totals have surpassed 1,000 since the province reported just 990 new infections a week ago.

An additional 20 variants of concern were reported, 19 of the variant first discovered in the UK while one more variant first discovered in South Africa. That brings the total number of variants in the province up to 1,101.

The 11 new deaths brings the provincial total up to 7,138. One of those deaths is from a long-term care setting.

Most of the new infections were in Toronto (381) with Peel Region (226) and York Region (168) also reporting triple-digit increases.

The province tested 54,421 people in the last 24 hours with the test positivity rate climbing to 2.9 per cent — an increase from the 2.4 per cent reported the previous day.

Another 1,151 of people have recovered from the virus. However, 689 are currently in hospital and 275 of those patients are in intensive care.

Health officials said an additional 53,586 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 1,116,496.

Some family doctors in Toronto, Peel and four other public health units began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 60 to 64 years old on Saturday.

The Ontario Medical Association is asking people not to call their doctors’ office, saying that physicians will contact eligible patients.