The number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario continues to rise, with over 1,400 infections confirmed in the last 24 hours, the largest single-day total since May 23.
Today, health officials in the province recorded 1,453 new cases, up from 1,290 on Thursday and 1,031 a week ago.
The seven-day rolling average of new infections has risen to 1,115 from 866 the previous Friday.
613 of the new cases identified today are in persons who have not been vaccinated, 26 are in people who have been partially immunized, 718 are in people who have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 96 are in people who have not been vaccinated.
With 39,941 tests processed yesterday, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 4.4 per cent, the highest that number has been in more than six months.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care is now 151, up slightly from 146 last week.
The province says 11 more virus-related deaths were added to Ontario’s COVID-19 death toll today, which now stands at 10,065.
The rise in cases comes amid calls for the province to quickly roll out third doses to as many adults in the province as possible.Starting next week, all Ontario residents over the age of 50 will be eligible to receive their third shot, provided it has been six months since they were given their second.
But some experts believe the province should make all Ontarians over the age of 18 eligible for a third dose as soon as possible.So far, just under one million third doses have been administered in Ontario.
Dr. Andrew Boozary, the executive director of social medicine and population health at the University Health Network, tweeted Friday that Ontario should no longer consider two doses as fully vaccinated. Dr. Issac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with Toronto General Hospital, said third doses are now “even more important” with the arrival of the Omicron variant in Canada.
“I think it is fair to say that we are seeing a real rise in cases and it is also fair to say that Omicron is here and Omicron is spreading. .. We know that the vaccines, while extraordinarily helpful and are expected to continue to help with Omicron, won’t be as helpful as they are against Delta so we might see even more spread,” he told CP24 on Friday morning, adding that vaccines still help prevent severe illness.
“I believe you must take actions to ensure that this virus is kept under control at the provincial level.”
The province is set to announce today that it will extend and improve its vaccine certificate program, according to a senior government source who spoke to the Canadian Press. In January, the province said that it will begin removing proof-of-vaccination requirements in select contexts.
Source_ The Canadian Press