Fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario for first time in nearly 10 months

By Michael Ranger

Ontario is reporting 184 new COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths on Wednesday.

It is the smallest daily increase of new infections since Sept. 10.

The province is reporting a test positivity rate of 1.0 per cent, down from 1.2 per cent one week ago. It is the lowest positivity rate since Sept. 25.

There were 27,258 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.

Locally, there are 46 new cases in the Region of Waterloo, 19 in Grey Bruce, 17 in Toronto, 17 in Hamilton and 16 in Peel Region.

A surge in Delta variant cases has delayed the Region of Waterloo from moving into Step 2 of economic reopening with the rest of the province.

There were another 322 resolved cases, dropping the active case count once again. Resolved cases have outnumbered new infections each day since mid-April.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases is down to 268, the lowest it has been since Sept. 17.

The province reported 299 cases and 25 deaths on Tuesday. The province said due to a data catch-up, 90 cases and 19 deaths were from previous months.

There are now 271 people in the ICU with COVID-19 complications and 181 ICU patients on a ventilator. The number of ICU patients has dropped to the lowest point since December.

Graphic courtesy of @jkwan_md

There were 268,397 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period, eclipsing the record of more than 265,000 set one day ago.

As of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, 14,741,138 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, 76.8 per cent of Ontario residents 12 and older have received at least one dose while 37.2 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

Most of the province entered Step 2 of the three-step economic reopening plan – two days earlier than originally scheduled.

The move to Step 2 means barbers, salons and personal care services will be allowed to resume – capacity limits for retail stores and patios will also expand.

Outdoor gathering capacity will increase to 25 people, while indoor gatherings of up to five people are now allowed.

Graphic courtesy of @jkwan_md

Dr. Kieran Moore held his first official news conference as the province’s top doctor on Tuesday afternoon and said he thinks a 21 day interval between Step 2 and 3 is prudent.

“We need that 21 days to understand the impact of opening on our communities,” said Moore.

Provincial vaccination rates now exceed the rates outlined by the Ford government in the ‘Roadmap to Reopening’ where 70 to 80 per cent of Ontario adults need a first dose and 25 per cent need to be fully vaccinated.

Ontario’s Minister of Long-Term Care announced that restrictions at long-term care homes in the province will be eased next week.

As of July 7, long-term care residents will be allowed to have 10 visitors outdoors and will also be allowed to have up to two caregivers and two general visitors indoors at the same time.

The limit on the number of people designated as caregivers has been removed.

Fully immunized visitors will be able to have close physical contact while those who are not must social distance, apart from a brief contact. All visitors will still be required to wear masks.

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