Ontario reports nearly 1,700 new COVID-19 cases as province reaches vaccine milestone

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting nearly 1,700 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday as the province reaches a new vaccination milestone.

The 1,691 new infections represent a decrease from the 1,794 cases logged on Saturday and the 1,890 reported Friday.

This is the third day in a row in which Ontario’s daily case count has been below 2,000 after a single-day jump on Thursday.

The rolling seven-day average of daily cases has now dropped to 1,878, down from 2,430 last week.

The province also reported 15 additional deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total death tally related to the disease to 8,614.

There are now 522,465 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario, including deaths and recoveries.

With a little more than 31,200 tests processed in the last 24-hour period, the Ministry of Health says the province’s positivity rate now stands at 5.7 per cent.

Hospitalizations continue to decline in Ontario, with 1,041 people being treated for the disease. Of those patients, 698 are in intensive care.

This is the first time since mid-April that the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU was below 700.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES?

The majority of infections continue to be found in the Greater Toronto Area.

According to the province’s epidemiology report, there are 455 cases in Toronto, 326 in Peel Region and 173 in York Region.

Other municipalities with more than 50 cases of COVID-19 include Durham (96), Ottawa (92), Hamilton (87), Waterloo (59), Windsor-Essex (51), and Halton (50).

Ontario remains under a stay-at-home order, which is set to expire on June 2, however outdoor amenities such as golf courses and tennis courts reopened on Saturday. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events have also been expanded to up to five people.

The province also identified 1,130 new COVID-19 variants in Ontario on Sunday. The majority of the variants—1,020 of the cases—are B.1.1.7. There were also 22 cases of the B.1.351 variant identified in the last 24-hour period as well as 88 cases of the P.1. variant.

The province does not publicly report the number of B.1.617 infections, despite multiple cases being identified according to the government.

ONTARIO REACHES NEW VACCINE MILESTONE

Sunday morning, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott took to Twitter to announce that the province has administered 8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine thus far. She said that one million doses were put into the arms of Ontarians in the last seven days.

“Thank you to everyone who has rolled up their sleeve to get vaccinated and our incredible health-care workers for getting shots into arms,” she said.

There were 140,330 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period. Just over 531,600 people have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated.

Ontario expanded its eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, allowing youth aged 12 and up to get the shot.

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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