Ontario is reporting 158 new COVID-19 cases and four additional deaths on Wednesday. The province has reported fewer than 200 cases for 20 straight days. The test positivity rate is 0.8 per cent, the same as one week ago.
There were 20,527 tests completed in the last 24-hour period.
Locally, there are 25 new cases in Toronto, 19 in York Region and 16 in Waterloo Region, 15 in Hamilton and 13 in Durham Region. The active case count in the province decreased by 13 – there were 171 resolved cases. The rolling seven-day average increase to 161 cases, up slightly from one week ago.
The province reported 129 cases and five deaths on Tuesday.
There are now 122 people in the ICU with COVID-19 complications and 83 ICU patients on a ventilator. ICU numbers drop to the lowest point since Nov. 14. Between June 12 and July 10, 95.8 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in Ontario were in unvaccinated people and 99.5 per cent of people admitted to intensive care due to the virus had not been vaccinated.
There were 94,116 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the last 24-hour period. As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, 80.6 per cent of Ontario residents 12 and older have received at least one dose while 67.9 per cent are now fully vaccinated. Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday that the province is doing all it can to help overcome vaccine hesitancy in roughly 1.8 million people – including more than 300,000 students.
Dr. Kieran Moore says that despite steady progress in daily vaccinations, two in 10 eligible Ontarians are still without a first dose. He stressed the importance of high vaccination coverage among youth and young adults, predicting COVID-19 cases will rise in the fall when they congregate together socially and for classes.
Ontario health units are using prizes and social media to ramp up efforts to get students fully vaccinated by September. Youth aged 12 to 17 have the lowest overall vaccination rate of any eligible age cohort in the province, with just over 64 per cent having received one dose and 41 per cent fully vaccinated.
University of Toronto professor Barry Pakes says “people are just not in that mindset” of getting vaccinated since they’re busy with summer activities. To be double vaccinated by the start of the school year, students would need to get their first dose by Monday.
The government has said it aims to resume classes and other activities in person, looking at vaccination rates among eligible students, staff and community members. Earlier this week, Ontario’s Liberal leader, Steven Del Duca, urged the province’s premier to consider making vaccinations mandatory for healthcare workers and invoking vaccination passports.
To date, Premier Doug Ford has been reluctant to mandate vaccine certificates, instead, saying it’s the federal government’s job to enact such measures.
–with files from 680news.com