Ontario is reporting fewer than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths on Saturday, a drop in the daily case count compared to a day ago.

Provincial health officials reported 990 new cases of the novel coronavirus, a notable dip from 1,250 on Friday.

Ontario logged 994 infections on Thursday, 958 on Wednesday and 966 on Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average is now 1,035, compared to 1,112 a week ago.

Of the latest six fatalities, two were among long-term care home residents. To date, there have been 7,052 virus-related deaths in Ontario.

According to the province’s latest epidemiological summary, 1,152 more people have recovered from the disease, resulting in 10,210 active cases.

Ontario is also reporting 27 additional lab-confirmed cases of the highly-contagious B.1.1.7 variant of concern and five more cases of the P.1 variant.

To date, there have been a total of 826 cases of B.1.1.7, 31 cases of B.1.351 and eight of the P.1 variant confirmed in Ontario.

In the Greater Toronto Area, the province logged 284 new COVID-19 infections in Toronto today, 173 in Peel Region and 82 in York Region.

Out of Ontario’s 34 public health units, eight reported 30 or more new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.

Yesterday, Ontario labs processed more than 57,800 tests, a drop from 64,748 tests the previous day.

Nearly 27,800 tests are under investigation.

According to the Ministry of Health, the province’s positivity rate is now 2.3 per cent, unchanged from a day ago.

COVID-19 hospitalizations saw a slight day-over-day decrease today.

Provincial health officials said there are currently 620 people in hospitals due to COVID-19 infection, compared to 643 on Friday.

Of those hospitalized, 278 are in intensive care units and 181 are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.

Since the first case of the virus emerged over a year ago in Ontario, there have been nearly 307,000 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 289,735 recoveries.

The latest numbers come after the provincial government announced yesterday that the stay-at-home order will be lifted for Toronto and Peel Region and that they will enter the grey lockdown level of the province’s tiered response framework on Monday. This means that all non-essential retail stores will be allowed to reopen with 25 per cent capacity but in-person dining is still not permitted, and gyms, hair salons, and other personal care services must remain closed.

More than 270,600 Ontarians fully vaccinated

As of Friday evening, 270,625 people in the province have been fully vaccinated against the disease.

The province has administered over 860,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines since mid-December, with nearly 39,700 shots administered yesterday alone.

Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are required for full immunization, while Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which Health Canada approved yesterday, only requires one dose.

Yesterday, the provincial government provided an update on its vaccination plan and said that it’s aiming to give the first shot to all people aged 60 and older by the end of May, and to everyone else in Ontario by June 20- months earlier than the previous September target.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.



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