Ontario has experienced a dramatic drop in the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19.
Hospitals reported treating 489 patients Thursday including 24 transfers from Manitoba.
The third wave peaked in hospitals on April 27 with 2,336 patients, and the last time the province had under 500 patients in total with COVID-19 was on Nov. 22.
Intensive care units were caring for 440 patients, 23 from Manitoba, and 292 were on ventilators.
Ontario reported 574 new cases of COVID-19 Friday including 109 in Toronto, 84 in Peel, 79 in Waterloo, 51 in Porcupine, 31 in Hamilton, 30 in Halton, 26 in Durham and 22 in Ottawa.
There have been 538,651 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario with 523,532 deemed recovered.
Another four deaths were attributed to the virus for a pandemic total of 8,935.
Ontario administered just under 200,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine Thursday for a total of more than 10.9 million doses, including over 1.5 million with double doses.
The province will accelerate second dose appointments starting Monday for residents in the delta variant hot spots of Halton, Peel, Porcupine, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York public health units if they had their first dose on or before May 9.
The first dose of a Pfizer vaccine is considered about 33% effective against the delta variant while two doses offers 90%.
After a slow start, vaccination rates in hot spot areas have been rising sharply.
In those aged 59 and younger, vaccination rates are now higher in hot spots than in neighbourhoods with low rates of COVID-19.
For people 60 and older, those living in areas with relatively low risk of COVID-19 are still more likely to be vaccinated than residents of hot spots.
Pandemic modelling released this week by the province’s science advisory table said a strong second-dose strategy is needed in high-risk communities to prevent a fourth wave pushed by the delta variant.
The science table also called this week for vaccinations to become more accessible, noting international evidence points to a disproportionate death rate from COVID-19 in those with disabilities.