Ontario reports over 650 new COVID-19 cases, positivity rate sees slight drop

TORONTO — Ontario is reporting over 650 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday after new infections dropped below 550 on Tuesday.

The province is reporting 656 new cases today, with 13 additional deaths.

According to the Ministry of Health, five of the 13 deaths being reported today occurred in the last week. The remaining eight occurred more than a week ago.

The province’s virus-related death toll now stands at 9,516.

The Ministry says that, of today’s cases, 397 were found in unvaccinated individuals, 52 were in partially-vaccinated individuals, 152 were in fully-vaccinated individuals and 55 were in individuals with an unknown vaccination status.

For comparison, the province reported 112 new cases on this day last year.

There were 525 new cases reported yesterday and 694 on Monday. The seven-day rolling average is now at 701, compared to 625 a week ago.

Tuesday’s seven-day rolling average was also 701. This is the first time since Aug. 2 that the seven-day average did not see a single-day increase.

Provincial labs processed more than 27,572 test specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 2.9 per cent, according to the Ministry of Health.

Today’s positivity rate marks a slight decrease from Tuesday’s when it sat at 3.2 per cent. 

Another 650 people recovered from the disease yesterday, resulting in 5,861 active cases across the province.

Right now, there are 339 people in hospital currently infected with COVID-19.

Within those hospitalizations, 89 patients are unvaccinated, six are partially-vaccinated and 12 are fully-vaccinated.

However, the Ministry of Health says 163 patients are in intensive care units and that 135 of those patients are breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Of the total patients in ICU, 157 are unvaccinated, 14 are partially-vaccinated and 36 are fully-vaccinated. 

On Wednesday, sources confirmed to CTV News Toronto that proof of vaccination will soon be required to access non-essential businesses in Ontario, including gyms, indoor restaurants, movie theatres and concert halls starting on Sept. 22.

Ontario residents will not need the certificate for retail shopping, banks, essential services, workplaces or outdoor patios.

The information will be embed into a personalized QR code in October, the sources confirmed, which would allow vaccinated individuals to use their smartphones to display their vaccine status without sharing any personal health information.

WHERE ARE THE NEW CASES?

Locally, there are 158 new cases in Toronto, 76 in York Region, 59 in Peel Region, 73 in Hamilton, 31 in Durham Region and 26 in the Region of Waterloo.

VARIANT OF CONCERN UPDATE

The Ministry of Health is reporting 764 new cases of the Delta variant, B.1.617.2, on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 10,543.

No new cases of the Beta variant, B.1.351, the Gamma variant, P.1, or the Alpha variant, B.1.1.7., were logged today.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The province said it administered 34,703 doses of COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday.

Throughout Ontario’s nine-month vaccination campaign, over 20.7 million needles have gone into arms.

As of today, 9,964,336 people have received both doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

With files from CTV Toronto’s Miriam Katawazi.

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