Ontario in third wave of COVID-19, science advisors say

Ontario in third wave of COVID-19, science advisors say”

Ontario reported more than 1,700 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as the province continued to see a spike in infections over past three days. The group, which gives independent advice and analysis to the province, says nearly two thirds of Ontario's public health units are now experiencing "exponential growth" of the virus.

"Together with clinical and public health data, wastewater monitoring can help local public health units identify potential COVID-19 outbreaks and enable more timely decisions about how and where to mobilize resources in response".

On Wednesday and Thursday, the province reported more than 1,500 new cases.

Friday's case count brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 325,254, including deaths and recoveries.

Ontario's hospitals and intensive care units are bracing for the biggest surge of ICU patients since the pandemic began past year.

Locally, there are 478 new cases in Toronto, 344 in Peel, 174 in York Region and 116 in Hamilton.

Officials believe variant strains spread easier and faster and are driving a third wave of the pandemic.

More news: Child Border Crossings Surge As DHS Chief Defends Policies

"We are in the third wave, it's just a matter of what kind of wave will it be", Williams said.

The province's test positivity rate is up to 3.3 per cent from 3.1 per cent a day ago.

Officials say more than 50 per cent of Ontario residents aged 80 and older have now received at least one vaccine dose.

While more than 10,000 variant mutations have been discovered, only 1,258 have undergone genome testing in order to be officially categorized.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary.

Over 58,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since yesterday's report.

There are now 1,175 cumulative cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 48 cases of the B 1.351 variant and 35 cases of the P.1 variant first detected in Brazil.

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