Ontario is reporting nearly 400 new COVID-19 cases and 12 more deaths on Wednesday, as the province recorded its lowest testing positivity rate in eight months.

The province logged 384 new coronavirus infections, up from 296 cases on Tuesday, but down from the 411 cases reported a week ago.

Ontario reported 447 new cases on Monday, 530 on Sunday and 502 on Saturday.

The seven-day rolling average now stands at 475, compared to 657 a week ago.

The virus-related death toll hit 8,986 on Wednesday.

Another 722 people recovered from the disease, resulting in 4,662 active cases across the province.

Ontario labs processed more than 28,000 tests in the past 24 hours, a notable jump from 17,162 tests the previous day.

The rise in testing contributed to a drop in the province’s positivity rate to 1.5 per cent, down from 2.3 per cent on Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Health. Today marks the lowest positivity rate since October 3, 2020 when it was also 1.5 per cent.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says the decline in the positivity rate is a good indicator that virus spread is waning.

“If there was still a lot of COVID-19 out there and people weren’t going to get tested we would see a much higher per cent of tests that are positive, over five per cent,” he told CP24.

“Now the test positivity rate is hovering at around two per cent, sometimes even less than two per cent. Yes, it is a little bit higher in some neighbourhoods but in general across the province the positivity rate is pretty low,” he added.

More than 550 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 variants of concern were identified in the past 24 hours, with most being the Alpha variant, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Only 54 lab-confirmed cases of the Delta variant, first found in India, were logged in Ontario, but health officials have recently warned that the highly-contagious variant is gaining traction and could be the dominant strain by next month. A total of 497 cases of Delta have been confirmed in the province.

In the Greater Toronto Area, Toronto logged 54 new coronavirus cases today, while 60 cases were reported in Peel Region, 14 in York Region, 15 in Durham Region and four in Halton.

Hospitalizations remained relatively unchanged from a day ago with 438 patients currently receiving treatment compared to 433 on Tuesday.

Of those in hospital, 377 are in intensive care units and 242 are breathing with the help of a ventilator.

To date, more than 540,800 lab-confirmed cases and 527,162 recoveries have been reported in Ontario since January 2020.

As of Tuesday evening, more than 11.7 million doses of vaccine had been administered across the province, with a record 202,984 shots into arms yesterday alone.

As of today, over 75 per cent of adults in the province have received one dose of a vaccine.

More than 2.1 million people in the province are fully vaccinated against the disease, which requires two doses of available vaccines in Ontario.

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.