Ontario is reporting 4,227 new COVID-19 cases and 18 additional deaths on Friday.
It is the highest daily increase since the beginning of the pandemic and the first time the province has reported over 4,000 new cases without a data error. There was one day in the second wave when the province reported 4,249 new cases, but a reporting error led to an overestimation of cases by about 450.
There were over 61,410 tests completed in the last 24 hour period, slightly down from the 63,800 completed a day ago.
The province reports a test positivity rate of 6.3 per cent, up slightly from 6 per cent a day ago. The province reported a positivity rate of 4.6 per cent one week ago.
Locally, there are 1,218 new cases in Toronto, 762 in Peel, 532 in York Region, 247 in Durham and 246 in Ottawa.
The province reported 3,295 new cases and 19 deaths on Thursday.
The rolling seven-day average of cases is up to 3,256. That number is up from 2,473 from one week ago.
There are now 1,492 people hospitalized in the province due to COVID-19 with 552 in the ICU. It is the highest number of hospitalizations since Jan. 23 and another record-high for ICU patients.
Ontario hospitals have been directed to ramp down all elective surgeries and non-emergent activities effective April 12, according to the Ontario Hospital Association’s President.
Anthony Dale says the situation is “extraordinarily serious” and asked for patience and support as hospitals deal with the “historic crisis.”
According to the latest provincial numbers, there are 1,860 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant. The province is now including all cases presumed to be the B.1.1.7 variant in there count.
There are now 11,492 cumulative cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 133 cases of the P.1 variant and 76 cases of the B.1.351 variant first detected in South Africa.
There were 105,382 vaccine doses administered in the last 24 hour period. That makes three straight days where the province has administered more than 100,000 doses.
As of 8:00 p.m. Thursday, 2,940,166 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the province.
The province has released a list of postal codes for COVID-19 hotspots where vaccines are now available to anyone 50 and older, and many are in the GTA.
Ford announced Wednesday that mobile teams will deliver vaccines to hotspot residents aged 18 and older in congregate settings, residential buildings, faith-based centres and at large workplaces. Regions will be selected based on patterns of transmission, severe illness and mortality from COVID-19.
The province’s immunization task force says the plan will take some time to launch.
People aged 60 and over can now book COVID-19 vaccine appointments in every region across Ontario.
Premier Doug Ford received his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday morning at a pharmacy in Etobicoke.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is currently available in hundreds of pharmacies across the province and residents are able to book online, though there have been reports that some pharmacies are accepting walk-in appointments.
COVID-19 in schools