Ontario reports 1,553 new coronavirus cases, 15 more deaths

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COVID-19: Ontario’s top doctor defends moving Ottawa to red level – Mar 18, 2021

Ontario is reporting 1,553 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 323,509.

Thursday’s case count is higher than Wednesday’s, which saw 1,508 new infections. On Tuesday, 1,074 new cases were recorded.

According to Thursday’s provincial report, 404 cases were recorded in Toronto, 294 in Peel Region, 176 in York Region, 85 in Durham Region, 80 in Hamilton and 82 in Ottawa.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 50 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,202 as 15 more deaths were recorded.

Officials have listed breakdown data for the new VOCs (variants of concern) which consist of the B.1.1.7 (first detected in the United Kingdom), B.1.351 (first detected in South Africa), and P.1 (first detected in Brazil) mutations.

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The B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 1,136 variant cases (up by two since Wednesday), 47 B.1.351 variant cases (unchanged), and 35 P.1 variant cases (up by one).

Meanwhile, 303,493 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 94 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 1,236 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 12,814 — up from the previous day when it was at 12,512. At the peak of the coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit above 30,000.

The government said 58,560 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 32,330 tests awaiting results. A total of 11,925,298 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

Test positivity — the percentage of tests that come back positive — for Thursday was 3.1 per cent, down from Wednesday at 3.5 per cent.

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Ontario reported 730 people hospitalized with COVID-19 (down by 11) with 304 patients in intensive care units (up by four) and 186 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (down by four).

As of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the provincial government reported administering 1,359,453 COVID-19 vaccine doses, representing an increase of 58,119 in the last day. There are 292,269 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are the vaccines currently approved in Canada. The first three require two shots administered several weeks apart while the fourth requires only one


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