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Ontario reports lowest COVID-19 positivity rate in over 2 months, more than 1,100 new cases

Last Updated May 27, 2021 at 8:57 pm EDT

Ontario COVID-19 cases and deaths on May 27, 2021.

Ontario is reporting 1,135 new COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths on Thursday.

There were 37,705 tests completed in the last 24-hour period, up significantly from more than 24,000 completed a day ago. There were more than 45,000 tests completed one week ago.

The province reports a test positivity rate of 3.6 per cent, down from 5.3 per cent a day ago. The positivity rate was 5.2 per cent one week ago.

It is the lowest positivity rate Ontario has reported since March 20.

Locally, there are 316 new cases in Toronto, 271 in Peel and 75 in York Region.

The province reported 2,302 resolved cases, more than double the amount of new infections for the second consecutive day. The number of resolved cases have outnumbered new cases each day since mid-April.

The latest provincial numbers confirm 1,227 new cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 39 new cases of the P.1 variant and four new cases of B.1.351.

There are now 1,072 people hospitalized in the province with 650 in the ICU. Hospitalizations are down nearly 250 since one week ago and ICU numbers have reached the lowest mark since April 14.

Graphics courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Kwan

There were 143,748 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period.

As of 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, 8,530,698 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Ontario rolls along, there are growing calls for the province to start accelerating second doses.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch sits on the task force and says an announcement on second doses should be coming sometime this week.

Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams said the province is still working towards completing as many first doses as possible but is considering shorter intervals.

Graphics courtesy of Dr. Jennifer Kwan

Following the release of bold reopening plans in British Columbia and Alberta, there is word that the Ford government is considering moving up dates of Ontario’s plan.

Compared to other provinces Ontario’s roadmap to reopening remains extremely cautious but as COVID indicators improve the province may be tempted to speed up the gradual process in the interest of public perception.

As Ontario vaccinates more of its population at an accelerated pace, the three-step reopening will be based on the supply and the daily rate at which people get the shot. The province will also factor in COVID-19 case counts, percent positivity, and hospitalization rates.

The province has hinted their first priority may be the reopening of schools. Dr. David Williams has said he would have a recommendation on schools soon.

“I’ve been encouraging schools to open as soon as possible,” said Williams on Tuesday. “[In discussions] with our medical officers of health throughout the province — all of them want them to open. We know that next week would be an opportune time for some areas, with some areas having very low numbers day-over-day.”

Liberal leader Steven Del Duca called on Ford during a virtual press conference on Wednesday to allow individual public health units to make the call about whether or not it’s safe to reopen schools for in-person learning.