Sudbury health unit reports 41 new COVID cases Thursday

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22 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Niagara today, marking a drop after two days of higher than average numbers.

Ontario also reported 10 additional COVID-19-related deaths.

"Together with clinical and public health data, wastewater monitoring can help local public health units identify potential COVID-19 outbreaks and enable more timely decisions about how and where to mobilize resources in response".

"Ontario is reporting 1,508 cases of #COVID19 and over 49,100 tests completed", Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted Wednesday.

New data esimtates that each person with a variant case is now infecting 1.35 other people, an alarmingly high reproductive number Ontario as a whole hasn't seen since April of previous year.

This brings the total number of confirmed variant cases in the province to 23.

Of the new cases today, 478 are in Toronto, 344 are in Peel, 174 are in York Region, and 116 are in Hamilton.

Italy to lockdown again as coronavirus cases escalate
Italy is now vaccinating some 170,000 people per day, the prime minister said, adding: "The goal is to triple that quickly". About 170,000 vaccines are now being administered each day in the country.

Ontario's hospitals and intensive care units are bracing for the biggest surge of ICU patients since the pandemic began a year ago.

Officials believe variant strains spread easier and faster and are driving a third wave of the pandemic.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams made the comment while describing the increase in reported cases in recent weeks.

Since the province began actively searching for COVID-19 variants of concern, there have been 10,995 mutations discovered in lab-positive tests across Ontario.

There are at least 1,175 cases of the B.1.1.7. variant in Ontario, as well as 87 B.1.351 variants and 35 P.1. variants. Tuesday's number, 4.5 per cent, was the highest positivity rate the province has reported in over a month.

As a result, the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU could hit 500 by the first week of April.

Ontarians aged 75 and older can start scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the province's booking portal on Monday.

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