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Ontario reports more than 2,500 new COVID-19 cases, 23 deaths

Click to play video: 'Ontario expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions Thursday' Ontario expected to announce new COVID-19 restrictions Thursday
WATCH ABOVE: The Ford government says it will announce on Thursday whether restrictions will be added to gain control of the third wave. But some are pointing out the data needed to make the decision has been available for weeks and the delay is unnecessary. Matthew Bingley reports. – Mar 31, 2021

Ontario is reporting 2,557 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the eighth straight day cases are above 2,000, bringing the provincial total to 352,460.

Thursday’s case count is higher than Wednesday’s which saw 2,333 new infections. On Tuesday, 2,336 new cases were recorded and 2,094 on Monday.

It is also the highest case count since Jan. 22 when 2,662 new cases were reported amid the second wave.

According to Thursday’s provincial report, 743 cases were recorded in Toronto, 484 in Peel Region, 311 in York Region, 131 in Ottawa, 119 in Hamilton, 107 in Durham Region and 82 in Halton Region.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 80 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,389 as 23 more deaths were recorded.

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Read more: Ontario government moves to activate 4-week, provincewide COVID-19 ’emergency brake’

Meanwhile, 324,196 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 92 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 1,814 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 20,875 — up from the previous day when it was at 20,155, and up from March 25 when it was at 16,081. At the peak of the coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit above 30,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 2,341, up from yesterday at 2,316, and is up from last week at 1,794. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 1,100.

The government said 62,290 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 42,057 tests awaiting results. A total of 12,613,463 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

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Test positivity for Thursday was 4.8 per cent. That figure is the same as on Wednesday, and is up from last week when it was 3.8 per cent.

Ontario reported 1,116 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by five from the previous day) with 433 in intensive care units (up by 37) and 259 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by seven).

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, the provincial government reported administering 2,276,313 total COVID-19 vaccine doses, representing an increase of 84,060 in the last day. There are 317,715 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.

Variants of concern in Ontario

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), P.1 (first detected in Brazil), as well as mutations that have no determined lineage.

Of the variants detected so far in the province, the B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 1,953 variant cases, which is up by 55 since the previous day, 67 B.1.351 variant cases which three cases were removed, and 96 P.1 variant cases which is up by four.

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The total case count for a mutation that was detected but the lineage was not determined was 22,371, an increase of 1,025 cases in the last day.

A report published earlier this week from Ontario’s COVID-19 science table said the new variants of concern now account for 67 per cent of all cases in the province.

Read more: Ontario ICU doctors write letter to Ford government over COVID-19 variants, warn more measures needed

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

  • 174,331 people are male — an increase of 1,278 cases.
  • 176,119 people are female — an increase of 1,238 cases.
  • 50,651 people are 19 and under — an increase of 524 cases.
  • 129,063 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 941 cases.
  • 101,343 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 738 cases.
  • 49,847 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 296 cases.
  • 21,473 people are 80 and over — an increase of 57 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:

  • Deaths reported in ages 19 and under: 2
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 34
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 314
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 2,086
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 4,952
  • 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.

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There are 44 current outbreaks in homes, which is an increase of one from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 9 active cases among long-term care residents and 103 active cases among staff — down by one and up by two, respectively, in the last day.

Read more: Variants driving 3rd wave, younger Ontarians being admitted to ICU: COVID-19 modelling numbers

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

Meanwhile, government figures show there have been a total of 13,278 school-related COVID-19 cases in Ontario to date — 9,936 among students and 2,179 among staff (1,163 individuals were not identified). This is an increase of 249 more cases in the last day — 211 student cases, 36 staff cases and two individuals were not identified.

In the last 14 days, the province indicates there are 2,057 cases reported among students, 424 cases among staff and six individuals were not identified — totaling 2,487 cases.

The COVID-19 cases are currently from 1,240 out of 4,828 schools in the province which is 25 per cent of schools. Sixty-three schools in Ontario are currently closed as a result of positive cases, the government indicated.

There have been a total of 3,730 confirmed cases within child care centres and homes — an increase of 59 (38 new child cases and 21 staff cases). Out of 5,279 child care centres in Ontario, 341 currently have cases and 89 centres are closed.

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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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