Ontario is reporting close to 700 new COVID-19 cases and three more virus-related deaths, pushing the province’s virus-related death toll to 10,000 today.

Provincial health officials logged 687 new infections on Tuesday, down from 788 on Monday but up from 613 one week ago.

Despite a dramatic decline in the number of deaths over the past six months thanks to the widespread rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the province, Ontario hit a grim milestone on Tuesday. There have now been a total of 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 fatalities since March 2020.

A man in his 70s who had recently returned to the province after a trip to the United Kingdom was the first virus-related death confirmed in the province back in March 2020.

Weeks later, the province released projections suggesting that over a two-year span, Ontario would likely see between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.

Ontario has seen significantly fewer deaths during the fourth wave of the pandemic compared to earlier waves thanks to high vaccination rates. Over the past month, Ontario has reported just 126 additional virus-related deaths, compared to 511 deaths in November 2020.

Since July 1, when virtually all adults were given the green light to receive their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 813 deaths have been added to the province’s overall total, which amounts to an average of about 5 new fatalities per day. At the peak of the second wave between January 1 and February 1 of this year, 1,643 deaths were confirmed, nearly double the number reported over the past five months.

While an uptick in cases this month has not resulted in a spike in virus-related deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions have started to creep up over the past week.

The province says there are currently 153 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, up from 134 one week ago.

With 21,476 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of three per cent, on par with 3.1 per cent last week.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases has climbed to 794 today, up from 675 last Tuesday.

The public health units with the highest number of new cases today include Toronto (94), Windsor (71), Peel Region (60), Simcoe-Muskoka (57), Halton Region (47), and Algoma (35).

Of the new cases confirmed today, 310 are in those who are unvaccinated, 19 involve people who are partially vaccinated, 308 are in people who are fully immunized, and 50 involve those with an unknown vaccination status.

Ontario's active, confirmed caseload now stands at 6,940, up from 5,487 last week.

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.