Ontario is reporting another small uptick in COVID-19 cases two weeks after a wider reopening of the province.

Provincial health officials reported 226 new cases of the virus Friday, along with 11 more deaths.

On Thursday, the province reported 218 new cases, the most since July 6 when 244 were reported.

The latest case count brings the rolling seven-day average of new daily cases to 170. This is the fourth day in a row that the seven-day rolling average has increased.

One week ago it stood at 160 and a week before that at 151. 

Some 20,993 tests were completed in the past 24 hours, yielding a positivity rate of 1.1 per cent.

The new cases reported Friday include 62 in Toronto, 24 in Peel Region, 13 in York Region, 13 in Hamilton, 13 in Halton and 35 in Waterloo Region.

There are currently 117 patients in Ontario ICUs, 77 of them breathing with the help of a ventilator.

The province administered 83,907 vaccine doses Thursday, the fifth straight day that Ontario has given out fewer than 100,000 doses.  

Daily vaccination numbers have been dropping for weeks in Ontario as a greater share of the population become fully vaccinated. About 68.4 per cent of Ontarians 12 and up are now fully vaccinated, while 80.2 have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.



The small uptick comes one month after Ontario entered Step 2, which allowed hair cuts and small indoor gatherings and two weeks after Ontario entered Step 3, which allows gyms, indoor dining and movie theatres to be open.

It’s been seven weeks since Ontario began the reopening process with Step 1 following a lengthy lockdown that lasted through the winter and spring.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Alon Vaisman told CP24 it’s too soon to tell whether the small uptick in cases is connected to reopening.

“It’s a little bit too early to tell what what's going on, whether what we're seeing now is the effect of the opening of restrictions on July 16,” Vaisman said. “Two weeks later, could it be related to that, or is this just a little bit of noise, and we're going to return back to our slightly lower levels that we were in the last few weeks? It's a little bit hard to tell.”

He said for the time being it makes sense to maintain what current measures we have in place as we track the situation, especially given the heightened transmissibility of the Delta variant, first identified in India.

“We know that this Delta variant is more transmissible, almost as transmissible or as transmissible as chicken pox, far more than our classic version of the virus,” Vaisman said.