Ontario reported another 1,563 cases of COVID-19 and 88 more deaths of people with the illness on Thursday.
Notably, Toronto Public Health (TPH) has not clarified if its data is entirely accurate following a migration to the province’s centralized COVID-19 tracking system earlier this week. The province previously cautioned the move could impact the reliability of case counts throughout the week.
The figures today come as public health officials prepare to present the results of a study that aimed to identify the prevalence of variants of SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — in Ontario.
The study represents just a snapshot in time, as it analyzed all positive COVID-19 tests from Jan. 20, 2021, for the presence of so-called “variants of concern,” such as those that were first identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
As of yesterday, there had been 152 confirmed cases of B117, the variant first found in the U.K., and 1 confirmed case of the variant identified in South Africa.
Dr. Vanessa Allen, chief of microbiology and laboratory science at Public Health Ontario, is scheduled to speak at the province’s regular 3 p.m. ET news conference. You’ll be able to watch it live in this story.
Test positivity rate lowest since October
With the above caveat about the data from TPH in mind, the new cases reported today include 584 in Toronto, 265 in Peel Region and 132 in York Region.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:
Halton Region: 58
Simcoe Muskoka: 55
Waterloo Region: 51
Durham Region: 34
Eastern Ontario: 20
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge: 12
Thunder Bay: 10