On Tuesday, Ontario reported more than 3,400 new COVID-19 cases and ten additional deaths, as hospitalizations continue to rise due to the Omicron variant’s rapid spread.
Today, 3,453 new infections were reported by provincial health officials, down from 3,784 the day before but up from 1,429 the week before.
According to Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, cases have been rapidly increasing over the last two weeks, with the Omicron variety accounting for 88 percent of coronavirus cases in the province.
The table also says the variant has a doubling time of 2.9 days.
Ontario recorded 4,177 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, 3,301 on Saturday and 3,124 on Friday.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases hit 3,153 today, a notable rise from 1,400 a week ago, and a high not seen since May 8 when the average was 3,193.
Among the latest cases, 673 of today’s cases are unvaccinated individuals, 132 are partially vaccinated, 148 have an unknown vaccination status and 2,500 are fully vaccinated.
Unvaccinated individuals, who represent about 18 per cent of Ontario’s population, account for 19 per cent of today’s cases.
Yesterday, the province administered over 206,000 vaccines as people are scrambling to get third doses for increased protection against the virus amid the holidays. A total of more than 2.1 million third doses have been administered so far in Ontario.
Infectious diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital Dr. Isaac Bogoch says it could take about seven days for a third dose to provide any protective benefits, but cautioned that vaccinated individuals can still get the virus.
“Even with that third dose, of course you can still get COVID. We’ve seen multiple cases of people with three doses that still had COVID. So remember that the vaccines are excellent, but they’re not perfect,” he told CP24 Tuesday morning
“The predicted effectiveness of the three dose series is about 70 per cent in reducing the probability of symptomatic infection. So that’s not nothing, that’s actually pretty impressive. But again, that’s only early data, that data might change,” he added.
To date, about 86 per cent of Ontarians aged five years and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81 per cent have received two doses.
The province reported another 11 more virus-related deaths today and removed one death from the cumulative total, raising the death toll to 10,123.
Another 1,332 people recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours, resulting in 25,702 active cases, compared to 12,032 active cases a week ago.
Ontario labs processed more than 49,200 tests yesterday, producing a positivity rate of 9.9 per cent, a significant rise from 6.6 per cent a week ago, the ministry says. Today’s positivity rate is the highest observed since late April.
Over 48,000 tests are currently under investigation as labs are struggling to keep up with the surge in testing over the past week.
In the Greater Toronto Area, Toronto reported 901 new cases, while 280 new infections were logged in Peel Region, 345 in York, 245 in Halton and 160 in Durham.
There are currently 412 people with the virus in Ontario hospitals and 165 of them are in intensive care units.
The province says 145 of hospital patients are unvaccinated, 109 are fully vaccinated and 12 are partially vaccinated.
Meanwhile, 128 of the ICU patients are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 37 are fully vaccinated.
To date, there have been 657,180 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and 621,355 recoveries since the pandemic began in Jan. 2020.