Ontario reports 1,546 new COVID-19 cases, nine deaths


They come as labs completed just 32,556 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a test positivity rate of 5.7 per cent. It is the second straight day the province has reported the highest positivity rate since January 26.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 495 of the new cases are in Toronto, 350 are in Peel Region, 177 are in York Region and 106 are in Durham Region.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped to 868 over the past 24 hours, up from 813 on Monday, according to the province. This investment will ensure hospitals can continue to provide the high-quality patient care Ontarians need and deserve, the province stated.

Another 50,659 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since Monday's report.

It is the highest number of ICU patients since February 8.

In Simcoe Muskoka, over 68,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been administered to high-priority groups as of Friday.

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The police department in Seattle also said it would increase patrols and outreach to support its Asian-American community. He said it was too early to tell if it was racially motivated - "but the indicators right now are it may not be".

Ontario residents who are 75 or older can booking appointments through the government's online system as of this week.

Ontario is expanding its vaccination program with the help of pharmacies.

The seven-day average is now nearing 1,400 cases, whereas earlier in February is was closer to 1,000.

This comes as the variants of concern (VOC) now make up 50 per cent of all new cases in Toronto, and the positivity rating in Ontario is at its highest level since February 1. There were 1,699 new cases, down from the almost 1,800 on Sunday and the same for Saturday.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The last time the seven-day average was that high was on Feb 3.