Loading articles...

Ontario reports more than 200 COVID-19 cases, lowest positivity rate since summer

Last Updated Jul 8, 2021 at 5:27 pm EDT

Families and youth aged 12 and older line up for a COVID-19 vaccine at Gordon A Brown Middle School in Toronto Wednesday May 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Ontario is reporting 210 new COVID-19 cases and 4 deaths on Thursday.

Daily new infections creep back over 200 after three straight days below that mark.

The province is reporting a test positivity rate of 0.8 per cent, down from 1 per cent one week ago. It is the lowest test positivity rate since Sept. 6.

There were nearly 25,857 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.

There were another 231 resolved cases, dropping the active case count once again.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases is up slightly to 206. It is the lowest since Sept. 13.

The province reported 194 cases and zero deaths on Tuesday.

Locally, there are 52 new cases in the Region of Waterloo, 23 in Peel Region, 19 in Hamilton, 18 in Toronto and 17 in Grey Bruce.

Waterloo Region will enter Step 2 of Ontario’s roadmap to reopening on Monday July 12, becoming the last region in the province to make the move.

The region was held back when the rest of Ontario moved into Step 2 due to a recent surge in cases as a result of the more transmissible Delta variant.

There are now 215 people in the ICU with COVID-19 complications and 145 ICU patients on a ventilator. The number of ICU patients has dropped to the lowest point since early December.

There were 268,884 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered since 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The province said yesterday’s vaccine numbers were pulled from 5 p.m. instead of the usual 8 p.m. due to “a technical issue.”

As of 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, 16,395,063 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the province – 78 per cent of Ontario residents 12 and older have received at least one dose while 48.8 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

More than half of Ontario adults – 51 per cent – are fully vaccinated.

The push to get people vaccinated against COVID-19 is shifting focus to those who’ve either struggled to find a shot, or those who need a little extra motivation.

There are a number of options on Thursday in Toronto for anyone in the city who still needs a jab – including walk-in appointments, a mobile clinic and even a promise of free burgers or ice cream in exchange of a shot at Guildwood GO station.

The province has passed its COVID-19 vaccination target for entering Step 3, with 78 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and over 51 per cent fully vaccinated as of Wednesday.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the exact details of the public health restrictions that will take effect under the next stage of Ontario’s reopening plan are currently in the works.

Restrictions on businesses and gatherings are due to roll back further in two weeks, but the fine print on capacity limits, masking rules and other pending measures have yet to be spelled out.

Gyms, indoor dining and indoor events are tentatively permitted under the next stage of the three-step plan.

Experts say a fourth wave of COVID-19 now surging across the United Kingdom due to the Delta variant doesn’t have to become a reality in Canada as long as people keep getting vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Dr. David Naylor, co-chair of Canada’s COVID-19 immunity task force, said the U.K. has been a “useful bellwether” for Canada in the pandemic, often a few steps ahead as infections rise and fall.