Ontario is reporting a steep drop in the number of new COVID-19 infections today with a little over 2,000 new cases confirmed over the past 24 hours.
Provincial health officials are reporting 2,073 new cases today, down significantly from the 2,716 confirmed one day earlier and the 3,216 logged on Sunday. It is the lowest daily case count reported in the province since late March.
Today also marks the first time since early April that the rolling seven-day average of new cases has dropped below 3,000. According to data released by the province, the average daily total of new infections now stands at 2,914, down from 3,509 last Tuesday, 3,888 two weeks ago, and 4,319 on April 20.
With 28,109 tests processed over the past 24 hours, the provincewide test positivity rate is now 8.5 per cent, down from 9.1 per cent last week.
Of the new cases reported today, 685 are in Toronto, 389 are in Peel Region, 231 are in York Region and 144 are in Durham Region.
The number of active, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario continues to trend downward. The province says Ontario’s active caseload is 31,151 today, down from 36,440 seven days ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario intensive care units (ICU) also continues to decline. According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 1,782 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 802 in the ICU.
At this point last week, provincial data indicated that there were 2,167 COVID-19 patients receiving treatment in hospital and 886 in the ICU.
Data released by local public health units and individual hospitals indicates that there are currently 2,283 COVID-19 patients in hospital, down from 2,684 one week ago.
Fifteen more virus-related deaths were confirmed in Ontario today and the average daily death toll is now 28, up by one from last week.
On Monday, Ontario’s top public health doctor said he would like to see the daily case count decline substantially before lifting the stay-at-home order that is currently in place.
“It think it (the daily case count) has to be well below 1,000. With the variants it is a new issue, they are much more readily transmitted so we have to be a lot more cautious,” Dr. David Williams told reporters on Monday afternoon.
“We don’t want to go back up again. We do not want a fourth wave. We don’t want to have to close things back down again when we open up.”
He also indicated that he wants to see ICU admissions fall below 200 before lifting restrictions more broadly.
The stay-at-home order expires on May 20 but the province has hinted that it will likely be extended into June.
As of 8 p.m. on Monday, 6,350,881 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in the province and Ontario’s health minister tweeted Tuesday that 49 per cent of all Ontarians have now received at least one shot.