Ontario is reporting a slight rise in the daily case count week-over week with nearly 750 new infections confirmed over the past 24 hours.

The province logged 748 new cases today, up from 591 on Wednesday and 711 one week ago.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases continues to rise, reaching 692 today, up from 597 one week ago.

Of the new cases confirmed today, 356 are in unvaccinated individuals, 19 are in partially vaccinated people, 329 are in those who are fully immunized, and 44 involve people with an unknown vaccination status.

Unvaccinated individuals account for 48 per cent of all cases despite representing only about 20 per cent of the population.

Speaking to CP24 on Thursday, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with Toronto General Hospital, said not only are vaccinated people less likely to become infected, when they do contract COVID-19, they will likely transmit it to fewer people than an unvaccinated person.

“Both of them (vaccinated and unvaccinated) can for sure have the same viral load, the same viral levels, but in the vaccinated group, there is evidence that the viral load declines much faster compared to the unvaccinated group,” he said.

Despite a rise in COVID-19 transmission over the past several weeks, the number of virus-related intensive care admissions and deaths have remained relatively flat.

There are currently 137 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, according to the Ministry of Health, up from 129 one week ago.

Four more virus-related deaths were added to the provincial total today, bringing Ontario's COVID-19 death toll to 9,985.

With 33,932 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 2.6 per cent, up from two per cent one week ago.

Ontario's known, active caseload now stands at 5,552, up from 4,872 last Thursday.

The public health units with the highest number of new cases today include Toronto (77), Windsor (77), Simcoe-Muskoka (55), Peel Region (48), Ottawa (45), York Region (43), and Southwest (39).

This week, the province began rolling out its vaccination program for children ages five to 11 and the City of Toronto has opened up appointments to children in that cohort at its five mass immunization sites.

Bogoch said unsurprisingly, children in this age group are overrepresented in daily case numbers as they are unvaccinated and spend hours per day indoors in close proximity to one another at school.

“We've seen the data from the vaccine trials and we know these vaccines have tremendous efficacy at preventing kids from getting this infection,” he said.

“I really think that this is going to have a pretty significant impact not just on schools but also hopefully spillover effects for the rest of the province, the rest of the country in terms of really keeping COVID-19 at bay in the community.”

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.