Ontario reported more than 9,400 new COVID-19 cases and five new deaths on Monday, as demand for diagnostic testing continues to outstrip available supply.
With 9,418 cases detected, the seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 7,550, up from 2,863 one week ago.
The province reported 9,826 new cases on Sunday and a record 10,412 new cases on Saturday.
Public Health Ontario said that five additional deaths were detected, bringing the total since March 2020 to 10,161.
Data on test positivity and a breakdown of breakthrough cases versus those in unvaccinated people was not provided.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said that there are 176 patients in hospital intensive care due to COVID-19, up from 164 one week ago.
There are now more than 64,000 known active cases of COVID-19, along with more than 632,000 recoveries since the start of the pandemic.
People aged 20-39 accounted for 47 per cent of Monday’s cases, while those aged 40 to 59 accounted for 25 per cent of the new cases and children accounted for 20 per cent.
She said that more than 46,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered across the province on Boxing Day.
“Thank you, #TeamOntario, for taking time out of your holidays to get shots into arms. 90.7% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 88.0% have two doses,” she wrote on Twitter.
Public Health Ontario continued to warn its count, including only cases confirmed through positive PCR tests, is an “underestimate of the true number of individuals with COVID-19 in Ontario,” and should be interpreted with “caution.”
Ontario Pharmacists’ Association CEO Justin Bates said pharmacies conduction rapid and PCR testing are running into problems sourcing enough kits to keep up with demand and lengthy turnaround times for PCR results.
“The first part is the supply of the test kits both the rapid and the PCR – and we’re having a lot of difficulty getting them to pharmacies,” he told CP24. “And we’re also seeing many of the labs just completely overwhelmed. There’s a huge backlog.”
He said the testing criteria needs to be narrowed and certain groups including all frontline healthcare workers need to be prioritized.
“This really dictates a rethinking of how we’re going about with the testing eligibility criteria. It’s amazing to think that frontline healthcare workers outside of LTC workers don’t even qualify as a priority eligibility to get tested.”
Across the province, Toronto continued to lead all case counts with 2,763 new cases, followed by Peel Region with 934 new cases, York Region with 887 new cases and Ottawa with 826 new cases.
Halton Region reported 498 new cases, Hamilton reported 491 new cases and Durham Region reported 464 new cases.