Ontario reports 945 new cases of COVID-19 but count is underreported

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TORONTO — Ontario is reporting 945 new cases of COVID-19 today although public health officials say that number is underreported.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 258 new cases in Peel Region, 116 in York Region, and 112 in Toronto.

A spokeswoman for the ministry says that as Toronto continues to migrate its case counts to the provincial database, Ontario’s daily tally is underreported.

Ontario is also reporting 14 more deaths linked to the virus.

More than 68,800 tests were completed since Wednesday’s report.

The province says that 14,717 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered since the last daily update.

A total of 426,836 doses of the vaccine have been administered in Ontario so far.

There have been 282,511 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ontario since the pandemic began, 263,044 of which have been resolved and 6,614 have led to death.

Ontario will present its latest projections for the spread of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who’s part of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said he’ll be presenting the new data an hour after Ontario’s education minister is expected to announce whether March break will be cancelled for the province’s schools.

Stephen Lecce will make his announcement at 2 p.m. with the health minister and the province’s top doctor.

Meanwhile, Ontario says it has completed the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations in all of its long-term care homes.

The province had committed to vaccinating every eligible long-term care resident who wanted a shot by Wednesday.

Premier Doug Ford gave credit to retired general Rick Hillier and his vaccination rollout task force for getting the first round of doses in long-term homes complete despite shortages.

“It is critically important to vaccinate, and provide an extra layer of protection, for the residents in our long-term care homes and those who care for them,” said Ford. “But due to a shortage of supply and unpredictable deliveries, meeting our goals has been a challenge.”

The Ministry of Long-Term Care said more than 62,000 residents have received the first dose of the vaccine, and more than 34,000 of them have received their second dose.

The provincial government said it will maintain the recommended interval of 21-27 days for residents who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“This milestone marks an important step towards the immunization of our most vulnerable,” said Merrilee Fullerton, minister of long-term care.