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Ontario reports just over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, marking drop not seen in months

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TORONTO —
Ontario health officials are reporting just over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19, which marks a significant drop in the number of new daily cases that has not been seen in province for months.

Officials recorded 1,022 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday. The daily case count has not fallen so low since November, when the province logged 1,003 new infections. On Feb. 2, the province reported 745 new cases but clarified that that number was an “underestimation” due to a data issue.

The province has recorded fewer than 1,500 new cases of COVID-19 for four days in row with 1,265 infections logged on Monday, as well as 1,489 cases logged on Sunday and 1,388 cases logged on Saturday.

With more than 30,000 tests completed, the Ontario Ministry of Health reported a positivity rate of 3.3 per cent on Tuesday.

The province’s seven-day average for number of cases recorded is now 1,367, down from 1,746 one week ago.

Health officials also reported that 17 more people have died due to the disease, including seven people who were residents in long-term care homes. In total, the province has recorded 6,555 deaths related to the disease since the start of the pandemic.

Officials reported that 909 people are currently in hospital due to COVID-19. Of those patients, more than 318 are in intensive care, and 223 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

The province also deemed 1,388 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Tuesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 259,991.

Tuesday’s case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 280,494, including deaths and recoveries.

Officials confirmed there have been 227 cases of the U.K. variant, also known as B.1.1.7, and three cases of the South African variant, also known as B.1.351, found in Ontario as of Tuesday.

Where are the COVID-19 cases in Ontario?

Of the 1,022 cases reported on Tuesday, health officials said that 343 were in Toronto, 250 were in Peel Region and 128 were in York Region.

Several other regions in Ontario reported COVID-19 cases numbers in the double digits, including Halton Region (42), Waterloo (41), Ottawa (25) and Durham Region (25).

Ontario Premier Doug Ford implemented a stay-at-home order for the province on Jan. 14, but on Monday, he announced that his government would start gradually moving parts of the province back into its colour-coded framework.

Three public health units, including Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox Addington Public Health, Renfrew County and District Health Unit will move into the “green-prevent” phase of the framework on Wednesday.

The stay-at-home order will stay in effect in Toronto, Peel Region and York Region until at least Feb. 22. In all other regions, except for the three in the green stage, the stay-at-home order will stay in effect until Feb. 16.

There were 30,798 COVID-19 tests completed in the province in the last-recorded 24-hour period. There are 33,273 COVID-19 tests under investigation. In total, Ontario has processed more than 10 million tests since the pandemic began in January.

So far, 398,633 initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario, including 12,462 doses administered in the past 24 hours. The vaccine requires a booster shot and, as such, 115,529 vaccinations have been completed as of Tuesday.

Backstory:

NOTE: The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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