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Ontario reports highest number of new COVID-19 cases in last week

Last Updated Jul 17, 2021 at 4:59 pm EDT

A graph showing COVID-19 cases from March 2020 to July 17, 2021. (CITYNEWS GRAPHIC)

The province of Ontario is reporting the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the last week.

Provincial officials confirmed 176 new infections on Saturday. While it is the ninth straight day of fewer than 200 new cases, it is the highest total reported since 179 last Saturday.

There are 37 new cases being reported in Toronto, 20 in the Region of Waterloo, 20 in Peel Region, and 11 in York Region.

Three more people have died as a result of the virus, raising the provincial total to 9,288.

The province says 169,103 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered on Friday – the seventh straight day fewer than 200,000 doses were given. A total of more than 17.9 million vaccine doses have been administered to date.

The province says 79 per cent of adult Ontarians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 60 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Graphics courtesy of @jwan_md

Canada has now surpassed the US in the percentage of fully Covid-19 vaccinated people 12 years and older, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada. More than 50 per cent of Canadians aged 12 and older have now been fully vaccinated compared to just over 48 per cent of Americans.

A total of 21,392 tests were processed in the last 24 hour period, as the positivity rate remained at 0.6 per cent.

There were 132 cases identified as the Delta variant, which continues to be the fastest growing variant of concern in the province. Only 11 cases of the Alpha variant – the one first discovered in the UK – were reported.

Ontario entered Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan on Friday, which allows gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums and other venues to reopen for indoor service.

Dining inside restaurants is also allowed and nightclubs can reopen with capacity limits.

Social gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors are now permitted.