Ontario reported 296 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest number in a single day since last September, plus another 13 people have died from the disease.
The seven-day average daily cases, one of the most important indicators of the epidemic’s growth or decline, fell to 479, the lowest since September 29, 2020. The measure peaked in Ontario at around 4,400 in April.
Laboratories have completed 17,162 tests and Public Health Ontario has a positive rate of 2.3 percent, down from 2.7 percent last Tuesday with a roughly similar number of tests.
The number of active infections is just over 5,000. During the height of the third wave of the epidemic, there were approximately 43,000 active cases in the county.
However, Ontario stops considering the infection “active” after two weeks. This means that the number does not necessarily reflect the true number of people with symptoms associated with COVID.
As of Monday, there were 382 people with COVID-related illnesses receiving treatment in intensive care units. Of those, 244 needed a respirator to breathe.
Notably, both numbers are well below the worst levels seen during the second wave earlier this year. At its height, about 420 patients were in intensive care units and 315 or so were on ventilators.
Average daily new admissions to intensive care units have also fallen dramatically, according to Ontario’s Critical Care Services, a government agency that reports daily for hospitals and health organizations.
However, those patients who remained in intensive care were very ill, the same data indicated, with the average stay rising to more than four weeks, the longest at any time during the epidemic in Ontario.
Another 13 deaths reported by the Ministry of Health brings the official toll to 8,974. The average daily death toll for seven days has fallen to 12.4.
Meanwhile, public health units collectively provided 184,989 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday. Ontario now averages over 180,000 shots per day.
More than 64 percent of Ontarians have now taken at least one dose, or nearly 75 percent of the population age 18 or older.
That’s already above the 70 percent threshold the government has set as a key criterion for moving into the second phase of the county’s reopening plan.
Another key criterion is that at least 20 percent of adults are completely immune to the disease. Given the current trajectory of second doses — which are beginning to exceed the ones used in the first shots — Ontario could hit the target by the end of this week.
As of last night, more than 2 million Ontarians, or roughly 16.8 percent of adults, had received both doses.
Young people and unvaccinated residents are driving a boom in Porcupine: Officials
Children, adults under 30 and people who haven’t been vaccinated are driving an increase in COVID-19 cases in the region, officials at the Porcupine Health Unit said today, the only case in Ontario that didn’t move into the first phase of reopening last week.
Lianne Caton, the district’s medical officer of health, said at a news conference that the health case rate is 290 per week per 100,000 — nearly five times the rate the county has set as the benchmark for reopening.
Recent data show that the majority of active cases are in Timmins and in First Nations communities in the James Bay and Hudson Bay areas.
Caton said last week that the most worrisome delta type, which first appeared in India, has been detected through community transmission.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table estimates that the delta variant currently accounts for about 40 percent of all new cases in the province, although some of that number is attributable to a decrease in the proportion of new cases caused by the B117 alpha variant, first identified in United kingdom.
The alpha variant fueled the third wave of the epidemic in Ontario.
Caton urged residents to limit their interactions and continue to follow public health measures.
She said some progress has been made in recent days, but that it is too early to say when the area will reopen.
“We need to see a pattern that is more sustainable and really robust before making any considerations,” she added.