Toronto

Ontario reports 4,177 new COVID-19 cases as capacity limits take effect on Sunday

Ontario reported 4,177 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — a daily case count the likes of which the province hasn’t seen since April.

Province's case count climbed by 876 cases in just 24 hours

Sisters Raya, 7, left, and Sky, 5, middle, are shown getting a first dose of the pediatric Pfizer vaccine at the Boardwalk Vaccination Clinic in Waterloo, Ont. on Nov. 26, 2021. (Submitted by Region of Waterloo Public Health)

Ontario reported 4,177 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday — a daily case count the likes of which the province hasn't seen since April.

But the Omicron variant continues to overtake the province. Ontario's case count climbed by 876 cases in just 24 hours from 3,301 cases reported on Saturday

The seven-day average of cases rose to 2,542 Sunday, compared with 1,236 a week earlier.

The latest case count comes as tighter public health restrictions came into effect provincewide. Starting early Sunday morning, social gatherings are once again limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Restaurants, gyms and many other indoor settings now have a 50 per cent capacity limit. And cinemas, arenas and other large venues are no longer allowed to serve food or drinks.

The province also barred dancing at clubs and instituted restricted hours for serving alcohol.

At least one Toronto club announced it would be closing its doors temporarily due in part to the restrictions.

Dean Odorico, manager of Woody's in Toronto's gay village, posted the news on Facebook.

"Due to the rapid spread, and the uncertainty of the new variant, the impending restrictions and most of all, the well being of our patrons, staff and entertainers, Woody's will be closed now, until further notice," he wrote. "We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates ... We just need more time to ensure a safe transition."

When Premier Doug Ford announced the new restrictions on Friday, he said the Omicron variant — now dominant in the province — is so contagious it threatens to overwhelm the health-care system.

The province's science advisers have said two doses of COVID-19 vaccine are only 35 per cent effective against the variant three months after being administered, while a third dose bumps efficacy up to 75 per cent.

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health's daily provincial update:

Tests completed: 51,151.

Provincewide test positivity rate: 8.7 per cent, which is down slightly from 8.9 per cent on Saturday, but still up substantially from the three per cent mark in late November.

Active cases: 20,847.

Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 159; 103 needed a ventilator to breathe.

Deaths: Two, pushing the official death toll to 10,113.

Vaccinations: 25,315,780 doses have been administered to date. Currently, 90.4 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 years or older have received one dose. Meanwhile, 87.8 per cent have received two doses.

With files from The Canadian Press

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