Ontario reports more than 500 new COVID-19 cases for 1st time in almost 4 weeks

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Ontario is reporting 563 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the first time the count surpassed 500 in almost four weeks. The provincial case total now stands at 602,087.

For comparison, last Friday saw 419 new cases and the previous Friday saw 492. All three Friday’s saw comparable testing volumes in the 30,000 range. The last time the case count hit above 500 was on Oct. 10 when 535 new cases were recorded.

Of the 563 new cases recorded, the data showed 259 were unvaccinated people, 15 were partially vaccinated people, 249 were fully vaccinated people and for 40 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Friday’s report, 52 cases were recorded in York Region, 49 in Simcoe Muskoka, 44 each in Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa, 37 in Windsor-Essex, 29 in Southwestern and 28 in North Bay. All other local public health units reported fewer than 25 new cases in the provincial report.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 9,896 as five new deaths were recorded.

Vaccinations, recoveries, testing, 7-day average in Ontario

As of 8 p.m. on Thursday, 15,901 vaccines (5,442 for a first shot and 10,459 for a second shot) were administered in the last day.

There are more than 11 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 84.9 per cent of the eligible (12 and older) population. First dose coverage stands at 88.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, 588,796 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 98 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 352 from the previous day.

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Active cases in Ontario now stand at 3,395 — up from the previous day when it was at 3,189, and is up from Oct. 29 when it was at 3,038. 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 404, which is up from the week prior when it was 355. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 575.

The government said 30,187 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours. There are 13,655 tests currently under investigation.

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Test positivity hit 1.8 per cent. Last week, test positivity was at 1.3 per cent.

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 225 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by nine from the previous day) with 129 patients in intensive care units (down by one) and 109 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (unchanged).

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In the third wave peak, which was the worst wave for hospitalizations, the province saw as many as 900 patients in ICUs with COVID and almost 2,400 in general hospital wards.

For those in general hospital wards with COVID, 83 were unvaccinated, 12 were partially vaccinated and 57 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 59 were unvaccinated while 2 were partially vaccinated and 12 were fully vaccinated. Provincial officials noted this new dataset with vaccination status for hospitalizations will grow and improve over time as more information is collected. There may also be a discrepancy due to how and when the information for both is collected.

Variants of concern in Ontario

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

Alpha, the B.1.1.7 VOC (first detected in the United Kingdom): 146,511 variant cases, of which 2 cases were removed since the previous day. This strain dominated Ontario’s third wave.

Delta, the B.1.617.2 VOC (first detected in India): 21,442 variant cases, which is up by 119 since the previous day. This strain is dominating Ontario’s fourth wave.

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Beta, the B.1.351 VOC (first detected in South Africa): 1,503 variant cases, which is unchanged since the previous day.

Gamma, the P.1 VOC (first detected in Brazil): 5,231 variant cases, which is unchanged since the previous day.

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

  • 300,995 people are male — an increase of 288 cases.
  • 298,944 people are female — an increase of 272 cases.
  • 17,260 people are under the age of four — an increase of 29 cases.
  • 32,130 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 73 cases.
  • 53,718 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 37 cases.
  • 226,279 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 170 cases.
  • 168,515 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 144 cases.
  • 77,901 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 75 cases.
  • 26,177 people are 80 and over — an increase of 36 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: Six
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 103
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 690 (+1)
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,243 (+1)
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,853 (+3)
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data

Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there are currently 488 out of 4,844 schools in Ontario with at least one COVID-19 case.

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On Friday, Ontario reported 67 new COVID-19 cases in schools — with 59 among students, 6 among staff and two individuals were not identified. The data was collected between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon — a 24-hour period.

There are 913 active infections among both students and staff, compared with 959 active cases reported Thursday.

Four schools are closed as a result of positive cases.

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

According to the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,824 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is unchanged since the previous day. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 2 current outbreaks in homes, which is unchanged from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 2 active cases among long-term care residents and 9 active cases among staff — both unchanged in the last day.

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More to come.

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