Ontario reported 1,958 new COVID-19 cases and 43 more deaths as the number of hospitalized patients held roughly steady and active infections continued to decline.

Ontario reported 2,417 cases on Sunday and 2,359 on Saturday.

“Locally, there are 727 new cases in Toronto, 365 in Peel and 157 in York Region,” Health Minister Christine Elliott wrote on Twitter.

The seven-day average of daily cases fell from 2,460 to 2,371.

Provincial labs processed about 36,000 test specimens in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of at least 5.4 per cent.  

There have been 5,846 deaths and 227,494 recoveries from coronavirus infection since Jan. 25, 2020.

Another 23,620 active cases remain in Ontario, and that number is down approximately 2,000 in the past week.

Twenty-seven of the deaths reported on Monday involved residents of the long-term care system.

There were at least 1,398 patients receiving care in Ontario hospitals on Monday, but the Critical Care Services of Ontario report from Sunday said there were 415 adult patients in intensive care across Ontario, along with one child.

ICU occupancy has held roughly steady for the past two weeks.

About 283 people were breathing with the help of a ventilator.

Michael Garron Hospital intensivist Dr. Michael Warner said that admissions to hospital appear to be stabilizing, but the situation could worsen dramatically because of the highly infectious B.1.1.7 variant from the United Kingdom.

“I think it is great that case numbers are coming down, we can’t dispute that, and ICU admissions are stable around 415 for the past week or so. I guess that is good but we can’t let our guard down. And we really have no idea how much B117 and other variants are circulating in Ontario or Canada,” he said.

On Sunday, officials in Simcoe-Muskoka said they detected what is likely to be Ontario’s 21st case of the B.1.1.7 variant, in a retail store worker who had contact with residents of a Bradford long-term care home.

“As long as planes keep on landing in Canada and as long as there is no mandatory quarantine, in some kind of federal facility the front door is still open and new variants can enter.”

Public Health Ontario is conducting a “point-prevalence study” of all positive samples collected on a given day last week to see how many cases of the UK variant are circulating in the community.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Durham Region reported 62 new cases, Hamilton reported 55 new cases, and Halton Region reported 54 new cases.

Meanwhile, supply restrictions continue to limit the number of additional COVID-19 vaccinations administered per day.

Elliott said about 6,000 more doses were administered on Sunday, bringing the total to about 292,000 injections to date.



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