Ontario has set a record for new COVID-19 infections for the second straight day with nearly 9,600 infections reported.
There were 9,571 cases reported Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Ontario to 676,924 since the pandemic began.
For comparison, last Friday 3,214 cases were reported. The seven-day average now stands at 4,923, up from Thursday when it was 4,002, and up from last Friday when it was 1,914.
On Thursday, 5,790 cases were reported.
Six additional deaths were also announced on Dec. 24, bringing the provincial virus-related death toll to 10,146.
A total of 626,798 coronavirus cases are considered resolved, which is up by 1,997.
More than 72,600 additional tests were completed. Ontario has now administered a total of 20,827,410 tests and 67,571 remain under investigation.
The province indicated that the positivity rate for the last day was 18.7 per cent, which is up from Thursday’s report, when it was 16 per cent, and up from last Friday’s report, when it was 8.2 per cent.
Provincial figures showed there are 508 people hospitalized with COVID (up by 68), 164 of whom are in intensive care due to COVID (down by five); 102 people in ICUs are on a ventilator (down by four).
Health Minister Christine Elliott said of those hospitalized, 153 are fully vaccinated and of those in intensive care, 28 are fully vaccinated.
Prior to the most recent spike, the largest increase in cases was on April 16, when there were 4,812 reported.
At that time, there were 1,955 people in hospital with COVID and 701 in intensive care due to the virus. Twenty-five deaths were also reported that day.
There were 229,743 COVID-19 vaccines administered Thursday — 11,619 were first doses, 4,000 were second doses and 214,124 were third doses.
COVID data reporting over the holidays
Alexandra Hilkene, spokesperson for Elliott, noted that the Ministry of Health will not update COVID-19 data on their website from Dec. 25 to Dec. 28, or Jan. 1 to Jan. 3 due to the holidays.
The data for those days will be posted on Dec. 29 and Jan. 4.
However, Hilkene said Elliott will continue to tweet COVID-19 data except on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.