TORONTO — Ontario is reporting more than 250 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since Canada Day.
On Saturday, health officials logged an additional 258 infections, marking the third day in which the daily COVID-19 case count has been above 200.
The number of infections has been climbing daily over the last week. Officials reported 226 cases on Friday, 218 on Thursday, 158 on Wednesday and 127 on Tuesday.
The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases now stands at about 183. One week ago that number was 159.
The last time more than 250 COVID-19 cases were reported in Ontario was on July 1, when 284 infections were logged.
With just over 19,100 tests processed in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate now stands at about 1.2 per cent.
Six more deaths related to the disease were also reported on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 9,345.
The number of patients in Ontario intensive care units as a result of COVID-19 continues to decline. As of Saturday, the province says there are 112 people being treated for COVID-19 in the ICU.
In total, Ontario officials have identified 550,436 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province, including deaths and recoveries.
WHERE ARE THE COVID-19 CASES?
The majority of the new infections can be found in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area.
According to the province’s epidemiology report, there are 53 cases in Toronto, 33 in York Region, 28 in Waterloo, 27 in Hamilton, 26 in Peel Region, 22 in Durham, 12 in Halton Region, and 11 in Middlesex-London.
Seven public health units are reporting no new cases of COVID-19. The remaining municipalities logged fewer than 10 new infections.
Ontario has been in Step 3 of its economic reopening plan for two weeks, which allows for indoor dining to resume and facilities such as gyms and movie theatres to open their doors. Gathering limits have also increased, with 25 people allowed indoors and 100 people allowed outdoors.
On Friday, the province revealed that while most restrictions will life when Ontario moves past Step 3, masks will remain mandatory indoors.
ANOTHER SURGE IN DELTA VARIANT CASES
Ontario has identified an additional 176 cases of the Delta B.1.617.2 variant in lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 4,741.
In the last 24 hour period, officials also identified two cases of the Alpha B.1.1.7. variant.
On Friday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said that Canada was “at the start of the Delta-driven fourth wave.”
“The updated longer-range forecast shows how the epidemic trajectory may evolve through early September,” she said. “It suggests that we are at the start of the Delta-driven fourth wave, but that the trajectory will depend on ongoing increases in fully vaccinated coverage, and the timing, pace and extent of reopening.” said.
In the last 24-hour period, officials administered 81,590 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
More than 8.9 million people in Ontario are considered fully vaccinated with both their shots.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.