Ontario is reporting more than 4,400 new COVID-19 cases today as virus-related hospitalizations surpass 2,200 in the province.

Provincial health officials are reporting 4,447 new infections today, up from 4,250 on Sunday but down from the record 4,812 cases confirmed on Friday.

The rolling seven-day average of new cases is now 4,345, up from 3,767 one week ago, and 2,757 two weeks earlier.

With 42,873 tests processed over the past 24 hours, Ontario's positivity rate hit 10.5 per cent today, the highest rate reported since the province began compiling central data one year ago.

The number of active, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ontario has been rapidly rising in recent weeks with the active caseload now at 42,863, a new record in the province. Last week, there were 34,758 active infections and two weeks ago, there were 25,487.

According to the Ministry of Health, the number of people infected with the virus who are receiving treatment in Ontario hospitals has jumped to 2,202, up from 1,646 one week ago. Data released by individual public health units puts the number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 at more than 2,400.

Intensive care admissions also continue to climb to new highs with 755 COVID-19 patients in the ICU today, up from 619 seven days ago.

Another 19 virus-related deaths were reported in the province over the past 24 hours and the average daily death toll is up week-over-week from 17 on April 12 to 24 today.

Of the new cases reported today, 1,299 are in Toronto, 926 are in Peel Region, and 577 are in York Region, a new record for the GTA public health unit.

As of 8 p.m. on Sunday, 3,904,778 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine had been administered in Ontario.

'It has never been this significant and this bad in the province'

On Sunday, the province announced plans to lower the age of eligibility for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people 40 and older amid reports that some doses were not being utilized by pharmacies due to the age restrictions and vaccine hesitancy.

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious diseases specialist and member of Ontario's vaccine task force, told CP24 on Monday that he is hopeful this move will boost demand for the vaccine.

"It's pretty obvious Ontario, we are in a tough spot. Adults are getting admitted to pediatric ICUs, we are calling in health-care workers from out of the province to come help out, our ICUs are full, tents are being set up in front of hospitals so we can care for patients. Surgeries are being cancelled. It has never been this significant and this bad in the province... and here we've got a vaccine that can actually save your life," he said.

He noted that the communication surrounding risk should have been better "contextualized" to members of the public.

"People keep hearing about the very, very, very, low, but of course not zero per cent risk, of having a significant blood clot. It is a serious event, it is just a very, very rare serious event weighed against the enormous benefits of this vaccine," he said.

"There are just millions and millions of people who are now eligible for this vaccine who are going to take it and that's good news."

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.