Ontario reports 1,616 new COVID-19 cases, but lowest daily testing in several months

Click to play video: 'Medical experts calling on Ontario to rethink when and how 2nd COVID-19 vaccines are given' Medical experts calling on Ontario to rethink when and how 2nd COVID-19 vaccines are given
WATCH ABOVE: Medical experts calling on Ontario to rethink when and how 2nd COVID-19 vaccines are given. Katherine Ward reports – May 17, 2021

Ontario is reporting 1,616 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The provincial total now stands at 513,102.

It is the lowest daily case count since late March and is the first time cases are under 2,000 since then as well. However, the number of tests processed for Tuesday was also the lowest seen in several months. On Monday, 2,170 new cases were recorded and 2,199 on Sunday.

According to Tuesday’s report, 472 cases were recorded in Toronto, 360 in Peel Region, 116 in York Region, 114 in Hamilton and 102 in Durham Region.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 100 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 8,506 as 17 more deaths were recorded.

Read more: Medical experts calling on Ontario to rethink when and how 2nd COVID-19 vaccine doses are given

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Meanwhile, 479,630 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 93 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 2,502 from the previous day.

There were more resolved cases than new cases on Tuesday.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 24,966 — down from the previous day when it was at 25,869, and is down from May 11 when it was at 31,151. At the peak of the second wave coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit just above 30,000. In the third wave in April, active cases topped 43,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 2,287, which is down from yesterday at 2,352, and is down from last week at 2,914. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 4,300.

The government said 22,915 tests were processed in the last 24 hours which is the lowest number of daily tests since Sept. 9. There is currently a backlog of 20,325 tests awaiting results. A total of 14,817,959 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

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Test positivity for Tuesday was 7.6 per cent. That figure is down from Monday’s at 7.9 per cent, and is down from last week when it was 8.5 per cent.

Ontario reported 1,484 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by 164 from the previous day) with 764 patients in intensive care units (down by 15) and 559 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by 23). Overall, hospitalizations have been on the decline since the third wave peak in April.

As of 8 p.m. on Monday, more than 7.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. That marks an increase of 109,032 vaccines in the last day. There are 442,102 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Read more: Shoppers Drug Mart selling rapid COVID-19 tests at stores in Ontario and Alberta

Variants of concern in Ontario

Officials have listed breakdown data for the new VOCs (variants of concern) detected so far in the province 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.

The B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 110,956 variant cases, which is up by 2,155 since the previous day, 681 B.1.351 variant cases which is up by two, and 2,031 P.1 variant cases which is up by 10.

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

  • 255,219 people are male — an increase of 809 cases.
  • 253,812 people are female — an increase of 789 cases.
  • 80,661 people are 19 and under — an increase of 349 cases.
  • 191,350 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 688 cases.
  • 147,554 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 392 cases.
  • 69,067 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 168 cases.
  • 24,367 people are 80 and over — an increase of 25 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: 4
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 63
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 457 (+3)
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 2,595 (+10)
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,386 (+4)
  • 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 3,766 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is an increase of one death since yesterday. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

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There are 35 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by one from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 39 active cases among long-term care residents and 98 active cases among staff — down by eight and down by 12, respectively, in the last day.

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