Ontario reports lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in over a month, nearly 2,800 new cases

By Michael Ranger

Ontario is reporting 2,759 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths on Thursday.

The province’s test positivity rate is 5.7 per cent, down from 6.8 per cent a week ago. It is the lowest positivity rate since April 3.

There were 47,638 tests completed in the last 24 hour period, up slightly from the more than 45,000 a day ago.

Locally, there are 774 new cases in Toronto, 602 in Peel, 258 in York Region, 147 in Durham and 133 in Hamilton.

The province reported 2,320 cases and 32 deaths on Wednesday.

Resolved cases have now outnumbered new cases for more than three weeks. There were 3,455 more resolved cases reported, dropping the active case count by nearly 700.

The rolling seven-day average of cases is down to 2,731. It is the lowest the average has been since April 4.

There are now 1,632 people hospitalized in the province with 776 in intensive care units. Hospitalizations are down more than 300 since one week ago.

Graphics courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Kwan

The latest provincial numbers confirm 2,737 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 44 additional cases of the P.1 variant and 6 additional cases of the B.1351 variant.

There were 137,697 vaccine doses administered in the last 24 hour period.

As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 6,629,363 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Ontario.

Ontario residents 40 and older can now schedule a vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

Earlier this week, individuals with health conditions deemed “at risk” and Group Two of people who cannot work from home also became eligible to book.

With the province no longer administering first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to an increased risk of blood clots, the Ford government says a new shipment of around 250,000 doses will be allocated for people that need a second shot.

Graphics courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Kwan

Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday he has extended the provincial stay-at-home order and all public health measures for another two more weeks until June 2.

he Ontario Medical Association released a statement Wednesday, saying they support the government extending the provincewide lockdown and recommend easing restrictions on outdoor recreation where it is safe to do so.

“We all want the third wave to be the last wave,” said OMA President Dr. Samantha Hill. “We’re just not ready yet to reopen. No one wants to start lifting restrictions too soon, only to find the virus spreading again and we have to go back into lockdown.”

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