Ontario is reporting nearly 900 new COVID-19 cases today and three more virus-related deaths as the number of virus-related intensive care admissions continues to climb.

Provincial health officials logged 887 new cases today, down from 1,184 on Sunday and 1,053 on Saturday but up from 788 last Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of new infections continues to rise, climbing to 940 today, up from 782 one week ago.

Of the new cases confirmed today, 426 involve people who are fully immunized, 373 are in those who are unvaccinated, 64 involve people with an unknown vaccination status, and 24 are in those who are partially immunized.

More than 80 per cent of all Ontario residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning that fewer than 20 per cent of people in the province remain completely unvaccinated. Despite this, unvaccinated people represent about 42 per cent of all new infections today.

The number of COVID-19 patients receiving treatment in Ontario intensive care units (ICU) continues to trend upward.

The Ministry of Health says there are currently 168 patients infected with COVID-19 receiving care in ICUs, up from 148 last Monday.

The province did not release data today about the vaccination status of ICU patients.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist with Toronto General Hospital, said in order to avoid overwhelming the hospital system, Ontario must try to avoid a repeat of last year's holiday surge. 

"I mean we haven't even entered Christmas and New Year's yet and we are over a thousand cases per day. Obviously we are watching Omicron carefully but we are also watching not just the daily case counts but the seven-day average, the hospitalizations, the ICU capacity, and we've got to be careful here. We really do," he told CP24 on Monday morning prior to the release of today's data.

"We don't want to have a repeat of what we saw last year, which was a very, very large surge of cases over the course and just after the course of the holiday season and that put significant pressure on the hospitals. And we know sadly it just doesn't take so much to really overwhelm our ICUs."

He said during the last wave, it only took 550 COVID-19 patients in the ICU to stretch hospital capacity to its limit.

"550 people is not a lot of people. And yes I appreciate that the vast majority of eligible individuals in Ontario have done the right thing, they've rolled up their sleeves, they've got the vaccine... but when you look at the absolute number of people, not the percentage... who remain unvaccinated, who remain vulnerable to getting very sick, it is still a lot people and if those people get sick and land in our hospitals, we're in trouble."

Last week, Ontario's Science Advisory Board released a report indicating as a result of "worsening staffing shortages” and “worker burnout," the province “lacks the capacity” to accommodate the sort of spike in hospitalizations it saw during the third wave of the pandemic. Last spring as many as 940 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units at one time.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the province has now hit 8,439, up from 6,816 one week ago.

With 25,981 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 3.5 per cent, unchanged from last week.

The public health units with the highest number of new cases today include Toronto (139), Simcoe-Muskoka (73), York Region (60), Peel Region (60), and Ottawa (55).

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.