Ontario reported 3,732 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 more deaths linked to the virus on Sunday.
The latest numbers come as the Ontario government announced on Sunday that it is preparing to expand vaccine eligibility across the province as a boost in supply is expected to arrive from Pfizer-BioNTech.
The province said those 18 years of age and older living in one of 114 hot spot communities will be able to book their vaccine appointment through the province’s online portal beginning Monday at 8 a.m.
As of Thursday, those turning 50 and over this year in the rest of the province will be able to book a slot through the Ontario booking system or directly through their public health units.
The move follows advice from Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table that 50 per cent of available doses should be sent to 74 hot spots only.
Allocations in other public health units remain the same.
In a statement on Sunday, the province also said public health units are responsible for managing and overseeing the distribution and administration of vaccines for their entire regions, and public health units may have different vaccine administration rates.
The expanded vaccine rollout includes the following groups:
May 3: Adults age 18 and up in hot-spot communities.conditions deemed “high risk”; and some people who cannot work from home.
May 6: Ontario adults over the age of 50; those with health conditions deemed “high risk”; and some people who cannot work from home including teachers and school workers; and First Nation, Inuit and Metis people not previously targeted in earlier phases of the immunization drive.
Week of May 10: Ontario adults over the age of 40; those with health conditions deemed “at risk” and more individuals who cannot work from home.
Week of May 17: Ontario adults over the age of 30.
Week of May 24: Ontario adults over the age of 18.
ICU admissions, hospitalizations drop slightly
According to Ontario’s health ministry, 1,961 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday morning.
This figure marks the first time that the number of hospitalizations have dropped below 2,000 in more than two weeks.
Of those hospitalized, 895 are in intensive care units, a slight dip from Saturday. Some 615 patients require ventilators to breathe.
Meanwhile, Ontario’s network of labs completed 45,301 test samples since the province provided its last update. The test positivity rate currently sits at 8.5 per cent.
Elliott said there are 1,198 new cases in Toronto, 797 in Peel Region, 306 in York Region, 237 in Hamilton and 232 in Durham Region.
Ontario also reported more 23 deaths on Sunday, bringing the official death toll to 8,102.