Ontario is reporting more than 2,600 new cases of the novel coronavirus with an almost 16,000 jump in processed tests compared to the previous day.

Provincial health officials recorded 2,632 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 46 more deaths. It should be noted that a technical issue reported by Toronto Public Health earlier this week is now resolved, with 102 cases added to today’s total from earlier days, according to the Ministry of Health.

Of the latest deaths, 33 were among long-term care home residents. A total of 3,307 long-term care home residents have died from COVID-19 across the province, representing 59 per cent of Ontario’s 5,614 virus-related deaths since the pandemic started last March.

There are currently 254 long-term care homes and 165 retirement homes with an active outbreak of the virus.

Roberta Place in Barrie is one of the province’s hardest-hit long-term care homes which is currently dealing with a significant outbreak where 122 residents and 69 staff members are infected with the virus. Nineteen residents have died from the virus, according to the local public health unit.

Ontario logged 2,655 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, 1,913 on Tuesday and 2,578 on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average now stands at 2,751 compared to 3,387 a week ago. Last week’s average does not include the 450 additional cases reported by Toronto Public Health on Jan. 8.

In the past 24 hours, 70,256 lab-confirmed tests were conducted across the province, up from 54,307 a day ago.

According to the Ministry of Health’s latest epidemiological summary, the province’s testing positivity rate is now 4.3 per cent, compared to 4.9 per cent on Wednesday. The ministry has noted that the positivity rate is reported daily by the Ontario Health Lab and may reflect a different point in time compared to when cases are reported by local public health units.

In the past 24-hour period, nearly 3,000 more people recovered from the virus. There are currently more than 26,063 active cases of COVID-19 across the province.

Most of the cases continue to be throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

“Locally, there are 897 new cases in Toronto, 412 in Peel, 245 in York Region, 162 in Ottawa and 118 in Waterloo,” Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted on Thursday.

Toronto and Peel Region saw a day-over-day drop in new cases while York Region, Ottawa and Waterloo saw increases compared to a day ago.

Elsewhere in the GTA, Halton Region logged 52 new infections and Durham recorded 92.

After seeing a notable jump in new cases earlier this week, Niagara recorded 90 new cases on Thursday, down from 129 a day ago.

Windsor also recorded a drop in cases with 92 compared to 179 a day ago, and Hamilton logged 69 new infections, down six from the previous day.

Infectious diseases specialist and member of Ontario’s COVID-19 vaccine task force Dr. Isaac Bogoch said the numbers are going in the right direction but that “we’re still far from where we need to be.”

“The seven-day average is going down, active cases are going down, the number of new cases is going down. There’s a lot of those arrows that are pointing in the right direction,” he told CP24 on Thursday.

“By no means does this mean we should be letting our guard down. All this tells us is that we should carry on doing exactly what we’re doing,” he added.

Bogoch noted that the spike in cases over the past month was likely due to the holiday season.

“There was a true Christmas spike. I think that big spike that we saw is really related to the holiday spike that we were talking about probably a month or so ago. That was probably the real deal and it looks like we’re on the other side of it,” he said.

There were 1,533 people hospitalized with the virus in the past 24 hours, down from 1,598 the previous day. Of those hospitalized, the province said 388 are in intensive care units, down by 13 from a day ago, and 293 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.

To date, there have been more than 247,500 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 215,900 recoveries across the province since the virus first emerged a year ago.