Coronavirus Canada Updates: Ontario reports lowest daily COVID caseload of year; London stays steady

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Coronavirus: Another 61 COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region
Coronavirus: Another 61 COVID-19 cases reported in Waterloo Region

Ontario reported an almost eight-month low in new COVID-19 cases Tuesday – the smallest number of daily cases since Oct. 18 when 658 were recorded.

On June 1, 2020, Ontario saw 404 new cases of COVID-19 – and that was the beginning of a sharp downward trend in new cases that lasted throughout July and August last year.

This summer Ontario expects to fully vaccinate all residents who want to be immunized against COVID-19.

There is also reason for optimism in the latest numbers for London and surrounding Middlesex County, which recorded 17 new cases and no deaths on Tuesday. It marks the ninth straight day the London-area has recorded fewer than 50 new cases.

For context, May 9 was the last day with a triple-digit local caseload jump, with 102, per unofficial LFP records.

Across the province, 120,195 people received a vaccine jab Monday and about 9.2 million people have had at least one dose, with just under 740,000 considered fully vaccinated with two doses.

The provincial vaccine appointment portal began accepting earlier bookings for a second shot for residents 80 and older Monday, although there were reports that many people could not get an accelerated date.

One of the key pandemic indicators that public health officials weigh when considering their reopening advice to the Doug Ford government is hospitalizations.

The number of patients being treated in hospital has dropped to 804 with 583 in intensive care and 387 on ventilators – still relatively high but far below the worst-case scenario forecast by COVID-19 modelling.

Still, the pandemic continues to take lives, with nine more deaths added to Ontario’s grim tally Tuesday for a total of 8,766.

Officials have also warned that variants of concern (VOC), including the new strain identified in India, could plunge the province back into another wave without strong public health measures.

Step One in the Ontario’s reopening plan is expected to begin during the week of June. 14.

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