The daily case count in Ontario has increased slightly week over week, with approximately 750 new infections confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Today, 748 new cases were reported in the province, up from 591 on Wednesday and 711 a week earlier.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases continues to grow, with 692 instances reported today, up from 597 a week ago.
Of the new cases confirmed today, 356 are in unvaccinated individuals, 19 are in partially vaccinated people, 329 are in those who are fully immunized, and 44 involve people with an unknown vaccination status.
Unvaccinated individuals account for 48 per cent of all cases despite representing only about 20 per cent of the population.
Speaking to CP24 on Thursday, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with Toronto General Hospital, said not only are vaccinated people less likely to become infected, when they do contract COVID-19, they will likely transmit it to fewer people than an unvaccinated person.
“Both of them (vaccinated and unvaccinated) can for sure have the same viral load, the same viral levels, but in the vaccinated group, there is evidence that the viral load declines much faster compared to the unvaccinated group,” he said.
Despite a rise in COVID-19 transmission over the past several weeks, the number of virus-related intensive care admissions and deaths have remained relatively flat.
There are currently 137 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, according to the Ministry of Health, up from 129 one week ago.
Four more virus-related deaths were added to the provincial total today, bringing Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll to 9,985.
With 33,932 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 2.6 per cent, up from two per cent one week ago.
Ontario’s known, active caseload now stands at 5,552, up from 4,872 last Thursday.
The public health units with the highest number of new cases today include Toronto (77), Windsor (77), Simcoe-Muskoka (55), Peel Region (48), Ottawa (45), York Region (43), and Southwest (39).
This week, the province began rolling out its vaccination program for children ages five to 11 and the City of Toronto has opened up appointments to children in that cohort at its five mass immunization sites.
Unsurprisingly, because they are unvaccinated and spend hours per day indoors in close proximity to one another at school, children in this age range are overrepresented in daily case counts, according to Bogoch.
“We’ve seen the results from the vaccine studies, and we know these immunizations are quite effective in avoiding this infection in children,” he said.
“I truly believe that this will have a huge influence not just on schools but also, hopefully, spillover consequences for the rest of the province and the country in terms of keeping COVID-19 at bay in the community.”