Fewer than 200 new COVID-19 cases in Ontario for 8th straight day

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Ontario is reporting 159 new COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths on Friday.

It is the eighth straight day the province has reported fewer than 200 new infections.

The test positivity rate is 0.6 per cent, down slightly from 0.7 per cent one week ago.

There were over 28,126 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.

Locally, there are 34 new cases in Grey Bruce, 25 in the Region of Waterloo, 23 in Toronto and 12 in Peel Region.

There were another 189 resolved cases, dropping the active case count by 30. Monday was the only day in the last two weeks where new infections have outnumbered resolved cases.

The rolling seven-day average has dropped to 151, reaching the lowest point since Sept. 7.

The province reported 143 cases and 10 deaths on Thursday.

There are now 158 people in the ICU with COVID-19 complications and 112 ICU patients on a ventilator. ICU numbers have now dropped to the lowest point since Nov. 26.

There were 168,616 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, 17,810,472 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the province – 79.1 per cent of Ontario residents 12 and older have received at least one dose while 58.6 per cent are now fully vaccinated.

Ontario entered Step 3 of the Ford government’s economic reopening plan at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The move means indoor dining can resume, and gyms and movie theatres are allowed to reopen.

There is no more capacity or table limits for indoor dining – but social distancing rules will remain in place and masks will remain mandatory.

Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people are permitted, as well as indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people.

The Ford government said last week that the province will remain in Step 3 for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one vaccine dose and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.

Premier Doug Ford said Thursday his government has no plans of implementing vaccine passports for travellers.

The Toronto Region Board of Trade called on the Ontario government this week to introduce a vaccine passport system for non-essential business activity.

Quebec will impose their own vaccine-passport system in September in areas where COVID-19 outbreaks occur, requiring people to prove they are vaccinated to enter places such as gyms and bars.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that decisions around domestic vaccine passports will be left up to the provinces.

–with files from 680news.com