Ontario is reporting 721 new COVID-19 cases today and its overall positivity rate now stands at three per cent, a development that the province’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe concedes is “worrisome.”

The news comes after  746 new infections were confirmed by the province on Tuesday and 807 on Thanksgiving Monday.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases now stands at 781, up from 605 last week.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average for the positivity rate is now 2.2 per cent.

In August, when there was substantially less COVID-19 activity in the province, the positivity rate was consistently well below one per cent.

“The data from yesterday, three per cent, is worrisome. It may reflect that less tests were done. However, it also indicates that we are seeing transmission in the community at this point,” Yaffe said during a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

More than 32,000 tests were completed over the past 24 hours, well below the province's goal of 50,000 tests per day..

According to the province, there were 783 additional recoveries recorded today, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 5,884.

At this time last week, there were 5,344 active cases in Ontario.

No new deaths were recorded in the province’s epidemiological report today after nine virus-related fatalities were confirmed one day earlier.

According to data released by the province, virus-related hospitalizations now sit at 231, up from 195 one week ago.

The number of patients infected with COVID-19 who are in intensive care has also risen to 64, up from 43 at this point last week.

According to data collected from local public health units and hospitals around the province, the number of people in hospital due to COVID-19 is estimated to be at least 251.

Public health officials indicated last week that Ontario hospitals could be treating 150 people or more in intensive care by early November if we don't bring down the daily case count.

Hamilton, York Region see surge in new cases

Toronto continues to see the highest number of new cases in the province, followed by Peel Region.

Centrally reported data indicates that there were 270 new cases of the virus confirmed in Toronto over the past 24 hours, 170 new infections in Peel Region, and 79 in York Region.

Forty-one new cases were reported in Hamilton, where dozens of new infections have been tied to a fitness studio in the city.

Ottawa, which has been deemed to be one of the province’s COVID-19 hotspots, reported a steep drop in new infections with just 39 new cases, down from 116 on Tuesday.

To slow the spread of the virus, additional public health restrictions were put in place in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa ahead of the long weekend, including suspending indoor dining and shutting down gyms and movie theatres for the next 28 days.

Those restrictions do not currently apply to any other areas of the province.

New cases in the GTA:

Toronto: 270

Peel Region: 170

York Region: 79

Durham Region: 22

Halton Region: 21