Ontario is reporting 914 new COVID-19 cases and 19 additional deaths on Friday.
It is the fifth consecutive day with a daily increase of fewer than 1,000 cases.
The province is reporting a test positivity rate of 2.8 per cent for a third straight day. The last time the positivity rate was lower was on March 12.
There were 32,258 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.
Locally, there are 214 new cases in Toronto, 169 in Peel, 69 in Durham, 59 in Hamilton and 57 in the Porcupine Health Unit region.
The province reports another 1,397 resolved cases, dropping the active case count. Resolved cases have outnumbered new infections each day since mid-April.
There are now 687 people hospitalized in the province with 522 in the ICU. Hospitalizations are down nearly 350 since one week ago while ICU numbers have dropped more than 100 in the last week.
There were another 168,322 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period.
As of 8:00 p.m. Thursday, 9,661,327 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and 67.8 per cent of Ontarians over the age of 12 have received at least one dose, while 6.9 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated.
Graphics courtesy of @jkwan_md
On Thursday, the province reported 870 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths.
While COVID-19 case counts have remained below 1,000 this week, Ontario’s top doctor is concerned the Victoria Day long weekend will start to push numbers back up.
“We don’t want to have a chance of going into a fourth wave,” Dr. David Williams said.
“With the Delta [variant], so-called variant B.1.617 so-called Indian strain and B.1.617.2 we’re getting some data that shows it’s fairly prominent in some areas…We’re still trying to understand how it behaves. What is its severity, what is its hospitalization rate, what is its morbidity rate, what is its mortality rate…We understand it’s more transmissible.”
Dr. Williams says that health officials are looking into how vaccine doses protect against the Delta B.1.617 variant.
In an effort to get ahead of the strain, Ontarians whose first dose was AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine can begin booking their second shots.
The province updated its guidance on Thursday to allow individuals who received AstraZeneca to choose between getting it again as their second dose or to receive either Pfizer or Moderna.
Second dose options are now available at the recommended 12-week interval, meaning only those who got their first shot at least 12 weeks ago will be eligible initially.
Earlier this week, Ford said he is cautiously optimistic that the province could reopen just ahead of schedule but denied putting the economy first and ahead of students and teachers.
The first dose vaccination rate in Ontario is nearing 70 per cent, beyond where the province said they needed to be for Step 1 of the reopening plan to begin.
The reopening plan outlines that 60 per cent of residents would need the first dose for the plan to kick in on June 14.