New COVID-19 cases in Ontario climb above 1,300, another 16 deaths logged

TORONTO — Health officials in Ontario are reporting more than 1,300 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday.

The 1,316 cases mark an increase over Tuesday’s report when 1,185 were added.

As well, the province said that 16 additional deaths related to the disease were reported in the last 24 hours.

Ontario’s lab-confirmed COVID-19 case total stands at 312,428. That number includes 7,099 deaths and 294,018 recoveries that have occurred since the onset of the pandemic.

With 54,149 tests processed in the previous day, the province’s positivity rate for the novel coronavirus is 2.5 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

Wednesday’s report pushes the seven-day average for number of new cases reported to 1,237, a sharp increase from the 1,084 a week ago today.

Right now, there are 11,311 active cases of COVID-19 across Ontario. 

Where are the new COVID-19 cases?

Most of the new cases recorded Wednesday were found in Toronto (428), Peel Region (244), and York Region (149).

A stay-at-home order that had been in effect for Toronto and Peel Region ended Monday. Those two areas are now operating in the grey lockdown level of the province’s colour-coded reopening framework.

This means that non-essential businesses like retail stores can once again open their doors, with strict capacity limits in place. Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants, as well as the use of gyms and personal care services, is prohibited in the grey zone.

Meanwhile, York Region entered the framework on Feb. 22 and has been operating in the less restrictive red zone ever since.

Outside of the Greater Toronto Area, Thunder Bay logged 67 new cases while Ottawa logged 59.

There are currently 678 patients in hospital with COVID-19. The province says 281 of those patients are being treated in intensive care, 178 of which are on a ventilator. 

Another 13 cases of U.K. variant confirmed

In the last 24 hours, health officials confirmed 13 more cases of the COVID-19 variant known as B.1.1.7.

First discovered in the U.K., there are now 921 confirmed cases of the strain in Ontario.

The number of B.1.351 (South African variant) and P.1 (Brazilian variant) infections in Ontario remain unchanged at 39 and 17, respectively.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

The province says it has administered nearly 1,000,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since inoculations began in December.

At least 35,264 of those shots were administered in the last 24 hours alone.

So far, 279,204 people have received both their first and second shots of a vaccine and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

The government announced Tuesday that it would begin administering doses of the recently-approved AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to those between the ages of 60 and 64 at some 300 pharmacies across Ontario.

Rexall and Costco are among the pharmacy chains participating in the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and are already accepting appointment bookings.

Backstory:

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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