Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario reports fewer than 1,100 COVID-19 cases

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Coronavirus Canada Update: Two deaths in Manitoba linked to COVID-19, including a woman in her 20s
Coronavirus Canada Update: Two deaths in Manitoba linked to COVID-19, including a woman in her 20s

Ontario is reporting 1,076 cases of COVID-19 and 18 deaths on Friday.

Locally, there are 361 new cases in Toronto, 210 in Peel and 122 in York Region.

As part of Toronto Public Health’s data migration, case counts from the city are under-reported today, resulting in an underestimation in the provincial total for the second consecutive day.

The province reports 62,012 tests completed compared to over 68,800 a day ago.

The test positivity rate drops to 2.2 per cent from 2.3 per cent a day ago. It is the lowest positivity rate the province has seen since Oct. 16.

Ontario reported 945 cases of COVID-19 and 18 deaths on Thursday.

So far there have been 275 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the UK and three cases of the B 1.351 variant first detected in South Africa. The province confirms 39 more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant since a day ago.

Last week, Ontario health officials said that more than five percent of positive COVID-19 cases accrued in late January tested positive for multiple variants, including the UK and South African strains.

The rolling seven-day average drops to 1,180 cases. Tuesday was only the second day the average has gone up since Jan. 11, where it peaked at 3,555. It is the lowest seven-day average in three months.

There is now a total of 283,587 confirmed cases in the province since the onset of the pandemic with 6,632 deaths. Of the confirmed cases 12,496 are active and 264,459 have been resolved.

There are 1,415 more resolved cases as active cases fall to the lowest point since Nov. 15.

As of 8:00 p.m. Thursday, 442,441 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

Among the active cases, 763 people are currently in the hospital. That number is down 280 in the last week and has reached the lowest point since Dec. 8.

Among the hospitalized, 295 are in the ICU. On Thursday, the number of ICU patients has dropped below 300 for the first time in the new year.

Meantime, Ontario says it will expand the use of rapid COVID-19 testing in schools, long-term care homes, and essential workplaces.

Once the program has ramped up, health officials say they expect to have one million rapid tests distributed every week.

They could not provide a timeline though, noting it would depend on how many tests Ontario would secure through the federal government.

The province says it has received six million rapid antigen tests since November and has distributed approximately two million.

Officials expect to have rapid testing in place in Toronto, Peel, and York Region schools when they reopen next week.

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