Ontario reports 3,301 new COVID-19 cases; highest 7-day rolling average in 7 months
Published Saturday, December 18, 2021 10:11AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, December 18, 2021 10:11AM EST
Ontario is reporting more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row and four more virus-related deaths as the seven-day rolling average topped 2,000 on Saturday.
Provincial health officials logged 3,301 new coronavirus cases today, up from 3,124 infections yesterday and from 1,607 a week ago.
Today marks the highest daily total since May 6 when 3,424 were recorded.
The seven-day rolling average now stands at 2,156, nearly double the average recorded a week ago (1,194), and the highest recorded in seven months.
Cases have been rising significantly over the past week amid the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said this week that without more booster shots administered and additional public health measures daily case counts could top 10,000 by January.
The table says Omicron accounts for over 51 per cent of all COVID-19 cases in the province and the effective reproductive (RT) number is 3.06, meaning that every 100 new Omicron cases will go on to generate 306 secondary infections. The RT for all variants combined is 1.4.
Meanwhile, the table says Omicron has a doubling time of 2.8 days.
Among the latest cases reported today, 2,338 of the individuals are fully vaccinated, 718 are unvaccinated, 104 are partially vaccinated and 141 have an unknown vaccination status.
To date, over 86 per cent of Ontarians aged five and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81 per cent have received two doses.
Another 1,207 people recovered from the virus yesterday, resulting in over 17,800 active cases across the province.
The Ministry of Health says the four deaths reported today occurred in the last month, raising the death toll to 10,111.
Ontario labs processed 54,400 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 8.9 per cent, a high not seen since mid-May, according to the ministry.
In the Greater Toronto Area, 851 new cases were logged in Toronto, compared to 759 yesterday, while 246 new cases were reported in Peel Region, 242 in York, 189 in Halton and 150 in Durham.
Elsewhere in the province, Ottawa reported 256 new cases, while 186 were reported in Simcoe Muskoka and 144 in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington.
There are currently 382 people in hospitals with the virus across the province and 154 of those patients are in intensive care units.
Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted today that 121 of the ICU patients are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 33 are fully vaccinated.
The latest numbers come as capacity limits in indoor facilities that can hold more than 1,000 people were capped at 50 per cent as of today.
Starting tomorrow, capacity limits will also be reduced to 50 per cent in a wide range of settings, including restaurants, bars, retailers, shopping malls, gyms and personal care services.
The Doug Ford government reinstated the capacity restrictions in an effort to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant.
To date, there have been 645,766 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and 617,773 recoveries in the province since Jan. 2020.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.