Ontario reports 9,826 new COVID-19 cases after topping 10,000 for the first time
Rolling 7-day average of new daily cases now stands at 6,746
Ontario is reporting 9,826 new COVID-19 cases on Boxing Day after the province hit a grim record of more than 10,000 new cases the day before.
The province saw a record 10,412 cases on Saturday, surpassing the previous record of 9,571, which was set Friday.
Public Health Ontario reported a total of 11 deaths linked to COVID-19 over the weekend, four on Saturday and seven on Sunday.
Cases of COVID-19 have been surging in the province due to the highly infectious Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
Experts have said the actual number of cases is likely far higher than those reported each day, because many public health units have reached their testing capacity.
"Due to changes in the availability of testing, driven by increasing COVID-19 cases related to the Omicron variant, case counts in our current data reports are an underestimate of the true number of individuals with COVID-19 in Ontario," Public Health Ontario notes on its website.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 373 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 168 people are in ICU as of Sunday. The number of people hospitalized dropped from 510 on Saturday. She noted that not all hospitals report COVID-19 data on holidays or weekends.
Elliott said more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
About 90.7 per cent of eligible Ontarians aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 88 per cent have received two shots.
COVID-19 data will be limited over the holidays, as the Ministry of Health will not be updating its website from Dec. 25 to Dec. 28 and Jan. 1 to Jan. 3.
The data for those days will instead be released on Dec. 29 and Jan. 4.
The rolling seven-day average of new daily cases now stands at 6,746, up from 2,542 one week ago.
Meanwhile, the race to provide COVID-19 vaccine boosters continues in Ontario, with some clinics having run on Christmas Day.
With files from The Canadian Press