Ontario reports 981 new cases of COVID-19, 42 virus-related deaths

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Ontario is reporting 981 new cases of COVID-19 today and 42 more deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 122 new cases in Toronto, 209 in Peel Region, and 171 in York Region.

The province says 48,701 tests were completed since the last daily update.

A total of 467,626 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province.

Data shows 705 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, with 292 of those patients in intensive care and 203 on ventilators.

Meanwhile, authorities in northern Ontario say they’ve confirmed that a COVID-19 variant originally discovered in South Africa has surfaced in North Bay, Ont.

The nOrth Bay Perry Sound District Health Unit, which is contending with a local outbreak, says it’s identified one case of the South Africa-based variant so far, adding the patient is a close contact of an international traveller.

North Bay is currently one of four regions that will remain under a provincial stay-at-home order for the coming week in a bid to lower local COVID-19 case counts. It joins other long-standing hot spots of Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.

The province announced on Friday that stay-at-home measures would lift for 27 other health units on Tuesday, allowing them to move back to Ontario’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

The tiered system sets limits on gathering sizes and regulations governing local businesses based on regional case counts and health system capacity.