Ontario reports fewest COVID-19 cases, lowest positivity rate since September

By Michael Ranger

Ontario is reporting 255 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday.

It is the smallest number of new infections reported since Sept. 13.

The province is reporting a test positivity rate of 1.2 per cent, down slightly from 1.5 per cent one week ago. It is the lowest positivity rate reported since Sept. 29.

There were 27,364 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.

Locally, there are 57 new cases in Toronto, 53 in the Region of Waterloo, 25 in Peel Region, 23 in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit region and 14 in Ottawa.

There were another 460 resolved cases, dropping the active case count once again. Resolved cases have outnumbered new infections each day since mid-April.

The province reported 296 cases and 60 deaths on Tuesday but “due to a data review and clean-up, approximately 80 cases” were  from 2020 54 deaths were from previous months.

The rolling seven-day average drops to 316, reaching the lowest point since Sept. 19.

There are now 295 people hospitalized in the province testing positive for the virus with 305 in the ICU with COVID-19 complications. Hospitalizations are down nearly 150 since one week ago.

There were 227,318 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period. It marks another single-day record for the province eclipsing the more than 213,000 doses administered last Friday.

Graphic courtesy of @jkwan_md

As of 8:00 p.m. Monday, 13,096,628 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Over 75 per cent of Ontario residents 12 and older have received at least one dose while 25.9 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

More Ontario residents in Delta variant hot spots, including the entire GTA, became eligible to move up their second COVID-19 vaccine dose on Wednesday.

The province is accelerating second shot appointments for hot spots residents that received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine on or before May 30.

Amid shipment delays from Pfizer this week, residents who received that shot for their dose first are being encouraged to take Moderna.

Despite repeated assurances, there were reports this week of some people hoping to get a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and walking away from clinics offering Moderna.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch, who sits on the province’s vaccine task force says this doesn’t appear to be significantly hindering the province’s rollout.

“There are anecdotal reports of people not showing up for Moderna appointments, but at a province-wide level it does not seem to be having a major impact,” said Bogoch in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

Graphic courtesy of @jkwan_md

The Ford government has hinted the province could move to Step 2 a little bit earlier than originally scheduled.

Chief Medical Offficer of Health Dr. David Williams says the COVID-19 indicators are good, which might make it possible to move up from the July 2 target date.

Williams told the Toronto Star he was optimistic that the province could enter the next step “a few days early.”

However, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones remains cautious, preferring not to rush things with the risk of the more transmissible Delta variant in Ontario.

“I couldn’t be happier if we could open sooner but I also want to do it safely,” said Jones on Tuesday. “As soon as we are able to share the news with the businesses and the people of Ontario we will do that.”

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