For the fifth day in a row, the number of new COVID-19 cases across Ontario remains below 400 as the province sets a new daily high when it comes to vaccinations.
Provincial officials reported 355 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday – a slight increase in the 345 new infections reported Friday. That brings the seven-day rolling average of new cases down to 389. A week ago, it was 533.
For the fourth straight day, the province set a new single-day high with 213,236 vaccine doses administered on Friday – more than 178,000 of those were second doses.
That brings the total number of single doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered to over 12.3 million, meaning almost 75 per cent of people aged 12 and over have received at least one shot. The number of people in the province who have been fully vaccinated with two doses is now over 2.7 million, or 21 per cent.
Those totals would allow Ontario to proceed with Step 2 of its reopening plan ahead of schedule. The province entered Step 1 of its Roadmap to Reopen on June 11 and it is not scheduled to move to the next phase until July 2 at the earliest. However, the province has indicated that timetable could be accelerated based on several public health indicators.
Graphics courtesy of @jkwan_md
The province eclipsed another grim milestone as an additional 13 people have died as a result of the virus, raising the total to 9,007.
There were 58 new cases reported in Toronto, 45 in Peel Region and an additional 18 in York Region. Hotspot regions of Waterloo reported 54 new infections while 22 new cases were reported in the Porcupine Health Unit.
Provincial officials processed just over 25,000 tests in the previous 24 hour period, with a positivity rate of 1.4 per cent which remained unchanged over the previous day.
Of the new cases reported, 731 were of the Delta variant which has now become the dominant strain of the virus in the province.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant jumped 66 per cent in Canada this week, according to Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
Tam says the Delta variant is now in all provinces and at least one of the territories.
The Alpha variant first identified in the UK is, for now, the dominant variant in Canada, with more than 216,000 cases confirmed.
The variant was first identified in India but has now become the dominant strain in the United Kingdom where it’s spreading rapidly, mostly among unvaccinated people.
Tam says the variant is a concern because one dose of vaccine isn’t as effective against it and it underscores the need for Canada to keep picking up the pace on second doses.
Files from The Canadian Press were used in this report