For the fourth consecutive day, Ontario is reporting fewer than 4,000 new COVID-19 cases as the rolling seven-day average of new infections continues to decline.

Provincial health officials are reporting 3,480 new COVID-19 cases and 24 more deaths today.

Today's total is up slightly from the 3,265 new cases reported on Tuesday, but the Ministry of Health says the case count is slightly inflated today due to a data catch-up process involving the Central West Region, including Hamilton and Niagara.

The seven-day average of new infections reported in the province each day stands at 3,783, down significantly from 4,327 one week ago.

With more than 50,000 tests processed over the past 24 hours, the provincewide positivity rate is now 7.2 per cent, down from 7.9 per cent last Wednesday.

The number of active, lab-confirmed infections also continues to decline in the province. Ontario's active caseload is now 38,852, down from 42,917 one week ago.

While case growth appears to be slowing in Ontario, COVID-19 hospitalizations and intensive care admissions remain alarmingly high. According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 2,281 COVID-19 patients at Ontario hospitals and 877 of those patients are in the ICU.

Information released by local public health units indicates that there are at least 2,677 COVID-19 patients at Ontario hospitals, down from 2,700 yesterday.

Matt Anderson, the president and CEO of Ontario Health, said while there continues to be growth in the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the province, there are some encouraging signs that the numbers are flattening.

“We have to see the case counts come down first and then we will see the impact in the ICUs and in hospitalization and that timeline can be about two to three weeks. So we really need to get that case count down,” he told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday morning.

“On an encouraging note, the growth in our ICU volumes and in our hospitalizations does continue to grow but that also seems to be slowing, which we do hope is a trend that we are going to see and is directly related to a reduction in case counts.”

Of the new infections reported today, 961 are in Toronto, 589 are in Peel Region, 341 are in Niagara, and 290 are in York Region.

According to the province, 116,173 vaccine doses were administered on Tuesday and a total of 4,907,203 doses have been administered in Ontario to date.

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.