Ontario reported 1,300 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 more deaths on Saturday.
The new positive cases include 433 in Toronto, 253 in Peel Region and 116 in York Region.
There are currently 786 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, of which 287 are in intensive care units. Of those patients, 203 are on ventilators.
The new numbers come a day after the province announced it will lift the stay-at-home order for 27 regions on Tuesday.
According to the Ontario health ministry, the province’s network of labs processed more than 58,700 additional tests. Saturday’s figures brought the provincial test positivity rate to 2.3 per cent.
The 19 additional deaths reported on Saturday push Ontario’s total COVID-related death toll to 6,651.
A total of 456,947 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province.
Other public health units that saw double-digit increases were:
- Waterloo Region: 61.
- Ottawa: 29.
- Durham Region: 47.
- Halton Region: 38.
- Hamilton: 48.
- Simcoe Muskoka: 31.
- Thunder Bay: 23.
- Windsor-Essex: 45.
- Niagara Region: 33.
- Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 32.
- Lambton: 24.
- Northwestern: 11.
- Middlesex-London: 17.
- Eastern: 10.
(Note: All of the figures used in this story are found on the health ministry’s COVID-19 dashboard or in its Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit because local units report figures at different times.)
Variant detected in Toronto homeless shelter
The city of Toronto, meanwhile, said on Saturday that a case of a coronavirus variant has surfaced in a city homeless shelter.
Officials provided few details about the case, which was identified at the Maxwell Meighen Centre, a shelter funded by the city and operated by the Salvation Army,
There are currently eight active cases at the facility. Public Health Ontario is conducting tests to identify the strain.
Region officials ‘encouraged’ by pending lockdown lift
Ontario’s Small Urban Greater Toronto and Hamilton Mayors issued a joint statement on Saturday saying they felt “encouraged” by the province’s latest decision.
“The Small Urban GTHA Mayors met yesterday and were encouraged by the lockdown changes announced by the province,” the statement reads.
Restrictions are set to ease in several regions that the mayor represent, with York Region and Peel expected to follow on Feb. 22.
“The diligence and patience by both residents and small business owners has helped make this possible, but we must continue to follow the safety protocols whether we are in grey, red, orange, or green,” the statement says.
The health ministry said on Friday that the move to lift restrictions in these regions is based on a “general improvement” in key indicators.
These indicators include lower transmission of COVID-19, improving hospital capacity and available public health capacity to conduct case and contact management.