Ontario sees fewest new COVID-19 cases in almost 7 weeks

Ontario reported another 2,073 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the fewest on a single day since March 24, and 15 more deaths linked to the illness. 

7-day average of daily cases has fallen below 3,000 again

Health-care workers administer doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in MIssissauga earlier this month. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Ontario reported another 2,073 cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the fewest on a single day since March 24, and 15 more deaths linked to the illness. 

While Mondays and Tuesdays have consistently seen the lowest numbers of new cases due to the cyclical nature of testing in the province, today's figure is still notably smaller than seven days ago when new cases totalled 2,791. The Ministry of Health has not indicated there were any data issues with today's update.

The additional cases come with just 28,109 completed tests, a second straight day below the 30,000 threshold. Public Health Ontario logged a provincewide positivity rate of 8.5 per cent. While still relatively high, it is actually lower than the positivity rates reported on the last several Tuesdays, suggesting the indicator is trending downward week over week. 

The seven-day average of daily cases dropped to 2,914, the first time it has fallen below the 3,000 threshold in about five weeks.

According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of people in hospital with COVID-related illnesses jumped by 150, up to 1,782, but at least part of that increase is due to more hospitals submitting data for the daily tally. 

The number of people being treated in intensive care fell for an eleventh straight day to 802. Of those patients, 568, or nearly 71 per cent, required a ventilator to breathe.

Data from Critical Care Services Ontario (CCSO), a government agency that compiles an internal report for hospitals and health organizations, shows that new admissions to ICUs per day have been trending downward for several weeks. 

The median average stay of patients, meanwhile, has grown to more than 14 days. At the start of May, COVID-19 patients were spending on average about 11.4 days in ICU, the CCSO said.

During a news conference Monday, Ontario's chief medical officer of health said that, along with daily case counts under 1,000, the province would like to see fewer than 150 COVID patients in ICUs before significantly easing restrictions.

Meanwhile, the 15 additional deaths confirmed today push the official toll to 8,342. The seven-day average of deaths stands at 28.4, down from the third-wave peak of 29.9 yesterday.

About 1/2 of Ontario adults have first dose of vaccine

Public health units collectively administered 112,103 doses of COVID vaccines yesterday. As of last evening, roughly half of Ontarians aged 18 and older had gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

The province set a target of getting a first shot to 65 per cent of adults by the end of May. 

Eligibility for a shot expanded to more people today. Those with "at-risk" health conditions chosen by the province, such diabetes, dementia, heart disease and sick cell disease can now book appointments for a first dose.

Another group of people who cannot work from home, including grocery store, restaurant and transportation workers, are also able to book a shot. 

Then on Thursday, anyone 40 years old and above anywhere in the province should be able to reserve a time for a vaccination, the government says.

With files from Lucas Powers


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