Ontario is reporting more than 400 new COVID-19 cases today and nine more virus-related deaths as the average daily case count exceeds 500 for the first time in weeks.

Provincial health officials are reporting 454 new cases today, up from 441 on Tuesday and 378 one week ago.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 502, up from 492 on Tuesday and 379 last Wednesday.

Of the new cases reported today, 211 are in those who are unvaccinated, 11 are in people who have only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 205 are in fully immunized individuals, and 27 are in people with an unknown vaccination status.

With 33,364 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 1.8 per cent, up from 1.4 per cent last week.

The public health units with the highest daily case counts today include Ottawa (43), Toronto (42), Simcoe-Muskoka (38), York Region (34), Peel Region (33), Sudbury (29), and Niagara Region (26).

Nine more virus-related deaths were confirmed today, bringing Ontario's COVID-19 death toll to 9,912.

Ontario's known active COVID-19 caseload is now 4,053, up by nearly 1,000 from last week.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said this uptick in cases does not come as a surprise to public health officials.

"As far back as July, I spoke about an anticipated rise in cases as we moved towards the fall and winter. We are now seeing this occur in some parts of Ontario. As the temperature begins to drop, and more people move indoors, we can expect to see cases fluctuate or continue to increase over the coming months," he said.

"While this is not cause for alarm. It will require continued vigilance from each of us and we must stay cautious and disciplined in the face of this virus. Provided we follow public health measures and increase our vaccination rates, we can continue to manage transmission of this virus at a local level and minimize the impact on our hospitals and intensive care units."

The number of COVID-19 patients receiving treatment in intensive care in the province is 136 today, down slightly from 137 last Wednesday. This number includes several patients who have been transferred to Ontario from Saskatchewan.

Of those in the ICU, 120 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 16 are fully immunized.

On Tuesday, the head of Ontario’s Science Advisory Table says rising COVID-19 case counts in the province are an “early sign” that we are on the wrong trajectory.

“The situation is quite OK still but we are just not on the trajectory that we want to stay,” he said.

“Right now we have a doubling time of 17 days, meaning that if this continues like that, 500 cases per day right now on average will become about 1,000 cases per day in about two-and-a-half weeks from now.”

He added that people must make small adjustments to their behaviour to put Ontario back on the right track, adding that people should once again consider working remotely when possible and being more selective about the social gatherings they attend.

The province announced Wednesday that it will pause plans to further ease capacity limits in certain higher-risk settings where vaccination is required, including food and drink establishments with dance facilities and strip clubs.

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.