Ontario reported 870 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths on Thursday, as the number of known active infections across the province fell below 10,000 for the first time in nearly seven months.

Ontario reported 733 new cases on Wednesday and 699 on Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases now stands at 940, down from 978 on Wednesday.

Across the GTA, Toronto reported 225 new cases, Peel Region reported 167, York Region reported 28 new cases and Durham Region reported 44 new cases.

Halton Region reported 18 new cases and Hamilton reported 45 cases.

The total known death toll from novel coronavirus infection reached 8,801, with 9,961 active cases and 514,999 recoveries.

The last time Ontario had less than 10,000 active cases of COVID-19 was on Nov. 9.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams says it appears Ontario’s case numbers have hit sort of a bottom in recent days, and are now trending back upward.

“I don’t want to take away from the fact we have seen excellent improvement in the last week, but this recent uptick is quite concerning,” he said.

He said they have anecdotal data suggesting Friday’s case count will be somewhat higher than today’s.

Provincial labs processed 34,277 specimens, generating a positivity rate of at least 2.8 per cent.

Across hospitals, the Ministry of Health said there were 729 people receiving treatment for COVID-19 on Friday, with 546 of those in intensive care.

The Ontario ICU number now includes 31 transfers from neighbouring Manitoba, which can no longer care for all of its COVID-19 patients within its own hospital network.

Three-hundred and seventy people were breathing with the help of a ventilator.

But hospital networks and public health units reported 1,293 patients admitted due to COVID-19 on Thursday.

Public Health Ontario has observed a noticeable decline in the number of cases screening positive for the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first found in the UK over the last several weeks.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table and several chief medical officers of health in the GTA now believe the B.1.617 coronavirus variant first discovered in India is displacing B.1.1.7 in some areas.

Williams said Thursday that labs have confirmed “about 440” examples of B.1.617 since mid-April, representing a weekly growth rate of about 34 per cent.

He says new examples of the Delta variant are concentrated in Peel, Toronto, and among workers returning from a Nunavut mine where an outbreak was confirmed last month.

The science table estimates 23 per cent of all new cases today are likely to be the B.1.617 variant.

Ontario health officials said that 150,884 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered on Wednesday, bringing the total number of shots in arms to 9.493 million.

Nearly 835,000 people in the province have received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine.

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.