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Ontario reports more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths

Click to play video: 'Ontario healthcare unions call for public inquiry into hospitals, long-term care' Ontario healthcare unions call for public inquiry into hospitals, long-term care
WATCH ABOVE: Several Ontario unions representing healthcare workers are calling for a public inquiry into the province's hospitals and long-term care homes. Brittany Rosen reports. – Mar 24, 2021

Ontario is reporting 2,380 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 336,070.

However, Thursday’s case count is an overestimation by about 280 cases due to data catch-up related to the provincial system, the Ontario government said.

Despite the inclusion of older cases, Ontario still recorded more than 2,000 new infections. The province hasn’t seen a figure that high since the tail-end of the surge at the end of January.

According to Thursday’s provincial report, 1,016 cases were recorded in Toronto, 294 in Peel Region, 244 in York Region, 152 in Ottawa, 90 in Durham Region and 79 in Hamilton.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 70 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,280 as 17 more deaths were recorded.

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Read more: Ontario budget doesn’t meet immediate needs during COVID-19 pandemic, critics say

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.

Of the variants detected so far in the province, the B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 1,458 variant cases, which is up by 69 since the previous day, 51 B.1.351 variant cases which is up by one, and 54 P.1 variant cases which is up by seven.

The cumulative case count for a mutation that was detected but the lineage was not determined was 15,657, the government indicated there was an increase of 909 cases in the last day.

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Meanwhile, 312,709 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 93 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 1,329 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 16,081 — up from the previous day when it was at 15,047, and up from March 18 when it was at 12,814. At the peak of the coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit above 30,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 1,794, up from yesterday at 1,676, and is up from last week at 1,427. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 1,100.

The government said 60,077 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 36,916 tests awaiting results. A total of 12,258,432 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

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Test positivity — the percentage of tests that come back positive — for Thursday was 3.8 per cent. That figure is the same as Wednesday’s, and is up from last week when it was 3.1 per cent.

Ontario reported 894 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by one from the previous day) with 332 patients in intensive care units (down by one) and 212 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by two).

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the provincial government reported administering 1,755,596 COVID-19 vaccine doses, representing an increase of 79,446 in the last day. There are 304,386 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.

Read more: COVID-19: GTA businessman’s campaign aims to feed thousands of long-term care workers

Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

  • 165,997 people are male — an increase of 1,210 cases.
  • 168,201 people are female — an increase of 1,161 cases.
  • 47,274 people are 19 and under — an increase of 499 cases.
  • 123,149 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 834 cases.
  • 96,724 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 719 cases.
  • 47,754 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 280 cases.
  • 21,095 people are 80 and over — an increase of 49 cases.
  • The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

Here is a breakdown of the total deaths related to COVID-19 by age:

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  • Deaths reported in ages 19 and under: 2
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 33
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 308
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 2,039
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 4,897
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data corrections or updates can result in death records being removed.

Cases, deaths and outbreaks in Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,753 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which did not increase from yesterday. Eleven virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 46 current outbreaks in homes, which is a decrease of six from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently eight active cases among long-term care residents and 95 active cases among staff — down by three and down by nine, respectively, in the last day.

Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools, child care centres

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 11,840 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario to date — 8,617 among students and 1,909 among staff (1,156 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 174 more cases in the day — 125 student cases and 39 staff cases.

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In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 1,613 cases reported among students, 372 cases among staff and nine individuals were not identified — totaling 1,994 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 1,033 out of 4,828 schools in the province. Forty-three schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 3,409 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 47 (30 new child cases and 17 staff cases). Out of 5,279 child care centres in Ontario, 263 currently have cases and 59 centres are closed.

Data for cases in schools and child care centres are updated weekdays only, at 10:30 a.m. On Thursday’s, numbers are included from Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon.

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