Ontario reported a day-over-day increase in new COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate, as well as five more virus-related deaths On Thursday.
Today, 438 new coronavirus illnesses were reported, up from 378 on Wednesday and 409 a week ago, according to provincial health officials.
The province reported 340 additional instances on Sunday, 422 on Monday, and 331 on Tuesday earlier this week.
The seven-day rolling average increased marginally today, reaching 383 from 379 yesterday and 366 a week ago.
Among the latest cases, 227 of the individuals are unvaccinated against the virus, 15 are partially vaccinated, 159 are fully vaccinated and 37 have an unknown vaccination status.
So far, more than 88 per cent of eligible Ontarians have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and over 84 per cent have received two doses and are considered fully vaccinated.
Children under 12 years old are not yet eligible for a vaccine.
Another 337 people recovered from the disease yesterday, resulting in 3,189 active cases across the province, compared to 3,018 active cases a week ago.
All of the deaths reported today occurred in the last month, according to The Ministry of Health.
The province’s virus-related death toll stands at 9,891.
Ontario labs processed more than 32,100 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 1.7 per cent, up from 1.3 per cent this time a week ago, the ministry says.
The public health units that reported the highest case counts today include Toronto (72), Niagara (40), York Region (37), and Simcoe Muskoka (34).
There are 234 people with the virus in hospitals across the province, the ministry says, and 130 patients are in intensive care units.
Of those in ICUs, 85 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.
Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted that 115 of the ICU patients are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 15 are fully vaccinated.
To date, there have been over 601,500 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases and 588,444 recoveries since Jan. 2020.
On Wednesday, the government updated its COVID-19 booster vaccination plan which expands eligibility to select groups starting this weekend.
As of Saturday morning, people aged 70 and older, front-line health-care workers, people who received two doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine or another viral vector vaccine, and Indigenous peoples will be able to start booking third doses, as long as they received their second dose at least 6 months prior.
Currently, long-term care home residents, immunocompromised individuals, First Nations elder care lodges and retirement home residents are eligible to receive a third dose.
However, infectious diseases specialist at Toronto General Hospital Dr. Isaac Bogoch said another group should have been included in this weekend’s eligibility expansion.
“I believe the only thing missing for me here is that there are persons with underlying medical issues who might benefit from a third vaccine dosage.” We haven’t heard much about it so far. I mean, there are persons with Down Syndrome or dialysis patients, for example… He told CP24 on Thursday morning that they should probably get a third dose because they are “definitely at danger for a severe infection.”
Starting in January 2022, the proposal seeks to gradually administer booster doses to the broader public, based on age and risk factors.