Ontario is reporting 463 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths on Wednesday.
It is the smallest daily increase of cases the province has seen since Aug. 17 and the first time the province has reported fewer than 500 cases since Aug. 24. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 332 of the new cases are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status.
The province reported 593 cases one week ago. The rolling seven-day average has dipped below 700 for the first time in September, now sitting at 692 compared to 722 one week ago.
There are now 299 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province and 271 are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status. There are 187 people in the ICU with COVID complications with 130 on ventilators.
The province completed 39,092 tests in the last 24-hour period for a positivity rate of 1.8 per cent. It is the lowest positivity rate since Aug. 11, the test positivity is down from 2.5 per cent last week.
Ontario is reporting another 179 school-related cases among students and staff. Nearly 14 per cent of Ontario schools are now dealing with at least one COVID-19 case and one school has been forced to close. Active cases in schools across the province now sit at 1,186.
Another 40,596 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24-hour period and 85.3 per cent of Ontarians 12 and older have had one dose while 79.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Ontario’s new vaccine certificate system is now in effect and residents will now be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter a number of businesses, including but not limited to indoor restaurants, nightclubs, movie theatres, gyms and concert venues.
Premier Doug Ford said Tuesday that he understands there are many who are against proof of vaccination, but he wants to do what is necessary to ensure Ontario avoids another lockdown.
Ford will hold a news conference Wednesday morning at 11:30 a.m. from Queen’s Park. He will be joined by the health minister and solicitor general to update the vaccination certificates and vaccine rollout.
On Oct. 22, the province aims to launch a QR code and verification app for businesses to streamline the process.