Ontario reports 218 new COVID-19 cases, passes key vaccination target for further reopening

Ontario reported the most new COVID-19 cases on a single day in about a month on Thursday. Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent of Ontarians currently eligible for a vaccine have had at least one shot.

More than 80% of eligible Ontarians have had at least one dose of vaccine

Health-care providers with Unity Health Toronto administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a one-day pop-up clinic in the Eaton Centre mall. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported 218 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday — the most on a single day in about a month — while also surpassing a key vaccination target.

Thursday's total is up from the 185 infections logged on the same day last week. Because testing levels generally follow a weekly pattern in Ontario, it's often most informative to compare the same days of the week.

Of the new cases, Toronto and Peel Region each reported 38, while 25 were reported in Hamilton and the Region of Waterloo saw 19.

The seven-day average of daily cases rose to 165, its highest point in just over two weeks, but still low relative to the past several months. 

Ontario entered into Step 3 of its reopening plan 13 days ago, enough time for potential effects of the move to begin showing up in the daily data.

Meanwhile, more than 80 per cent Ontarians aged 12 and older — those who are currently eligible for a vaccine in the province — have had at least one dose, the Ministry of Health said.

That means one of three conditions the province has set for moving beyond Step 3 of its reopening plan has now been met.

The government has also said 75 per cent of people 12 and older must have received their second dose, and no public health unit can have less than 70 per cent of eligible people fully vaccinated.

The province has said that if all of those conditions are satisfied, the majority of restrictions can be lifted as early as August 6. 

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

  • Tests completed: 19,425
  • Provincewide test positivity rate: 1.3 per cent, the highest since July 5, when just fewer than 13,000 tests were reported completed.
  • Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 121, with 79 needing a ventilator to breathe
  • Deaths: Three, pushing the official toll to 9,328. The seven-day average of deaths is flat at about 3.5.
  • Vaccinations: 89,157 doses were administered yesterday, the fewest on a Wednesday in several months. Roughly 68.5 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and older have had two shots.

With files from The Canadian Press


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