For the third day in the last four, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario has surpassed 4,000 as ICU admissions continue to climb.
Provincial health officials confirmed 4,094 new cases on Saturday – a drop from the more than 4,500 new infections that were reported the previous day.
For the fourth straight day, the rolling seven-day average of new cases has declined. It now sits at 4,094 while a week ago at this time it was over 4,300.
Hospitalizations remain over 2,000 for the eighth straight day while the number of patients in the ICU with COVID-related illnesses now sits at 833. The number of people on a ventilator has now reached 600.
An additional 24 people have died as a result of the virus, bringing the provincial total to 7,887.
Toronto is reporting 1,191 new cases – the 15th consecutive day that new case counts have topped 1,000. Peel Region is reporting over 1,000 new infections for the second straight day with 1,014 while York Region added 406 new cases to its tally.
More than 3,000 of the new cases are variants of concern (VOC) with the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the UK the predominant strain in the province, accounting for a total of 49,860 cases.
Ontario confirmed on Friday that 36 cases of the double mutant COVID-19 variant first discovered in India – B.1.617 – have now been detected in Ontario. On Thursday, Canada suspended incoming passenger flights from India and Pakistan for the next 30 days due to surging cases of COVID-19 in both countries.
Provincial health officials say a total of 52,160 tests were completed in the previous 24 hour period, with a positivity rate of 7.8 per cent – a slight decline from Friday.
Almost 127,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Friday, slipping below the more than 130,000 doses given out the previous three days. A total of 4.5 million Ontarians have now received at least one dose of the vaccine with 358,776 having been fully vaccinated.
Toronto also reported the city had administered over 1 million vaccines or about 1,026,176 jabs.
“Yesterday, more than 1 million vaccine doses were administered in Toronto, a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19,” the City said in a news release. “To mark this milestone and acknowledge the ongoing efforts of our frontline workers, today, the Toronto sign in front of City Hall will be lit pink until 6 a.m. tomorrow morning.”
Starting today, both Peel Public Health and Toronto Public Health will be closing down non-essential workplaces with five or more cases of COVID-19 over the last 14 days. The Section 22 order is aimed at limiting the spread of the virus in workplaces.