Ontario's daily COVID-19 case count continues to hover between 300 and 400 new infections per day and infectious diseases experts are cautioning that a surge in cases is expected in the coming weeks.

Provincial health officials recorded 324 new cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus today, on par with the 321 new cases confirmed on Tuesday but up substantially from the 139 infections reported just one week ago.

Over the past week, the rolling seven-day average of new cases has jumped from 199 last Wednesday to 332 today.

With 24,772 tests processed over the past 24 hours, Ontario is reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 1.7 per cent, up from 1.2 last week.

Dr. Peter Jüni, the head of Ontario's Science Advisory Table, said the fourth wave of the pandemic likely started in Ontario in mid-July.

"You can define it as when we were at the lowest point, which was around mid-July. That's when you can say it started. It doesn't matter that much. What we are really seeing is the full impact of Step 3 of the reopening (plan)," Jüni told CP24 on Wednesday morning.

"Right now we have roughly a doubling time of 10 to 14 days, meaning that the daily case counts on average will double every 10 to 14 days... we just need to continue to be careful."

Jüni said he does not believe the rise in cases is cause for panic.

"What we just need to be aware of is this will be a pandemic of the unvaccinated now."

Dr. Alon Vaisman, an infectious diseases specialist, told CP24 on Wednesday morning that while Ontario will likely see case counts jump in the province, we will not see a corresponding spike in hospitalizations and deaths.

"We do anticipate that cases will surge and whether it is going to start now or in the next week or so, it is hard to tell but it seems to be going in that direction," he said.

"We don't anticipate that the number of hospitalizations will rise or the number of deaths will rise to the same extent that happened last time in wave three and that is the key thing to watch for."

According to the Ministry of Health, 108 COVID-19 patients are currently in intensive care in Ontario, unchanged from last Wednesday.

Three more virus-related deaths were confirmed today in the province, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in Ontario to 9,412.

Of the new cases confirmed today, 72 are in Toronto, 41 are in Hamilton, 31 are in York Region, 30 are in Peel Region, and 23 are in Waterloo Region.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said 234 cases today are in unvaccinated individuals and 32 are in partially vaccinated people.

"The vaccine is not perfect but it is really excellent. What you see is there will be some breakthrough cases but when you think about the situation we are in, you know how many people are fully vaccinated, these cases are nearly all of them mild," Jüni said.

"The challenge is that the people who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated only, they have then really a much higher risk, 10 to 25 times higher risk, to end up in a hospital or ICU and that's the real issue here."

Nearly 82 per cent of people 12 and older in Ontario have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and about 72.5 per cent of people 12 and up are fully immunized.

"We just have to increase pressure on those who remain unvaccinated. If you think of people my age, I'm 53, we are still having 25 per cent of 50 to 60 year olds who are not fully vaccinated," Jüni said.

"These people have a high risk if they get COVID to end up on an ICU and it is completely sad actually and challenging if these people don't get vaccinated right now."

Dr. Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, said the government must do everything possible to maximize vaccine uptake.

"Medical reasons not to have a vaccine are vanishingly rare but there are a group of people who have decided not to get vaccinated," he said.

"That is what needs to change now which means we need to mandate vaccines for public-facing, public-sector workers, like health-care workers and education workers, and have some form of government-provided official vaccine certificate."

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.