The Canadian province of Ontario is closing schools for in-person learning due to rising variant-driven COVID-19 cases, Premier Doug Ford said on Monday without mentioning when the remote learning would end.
In the last 24 hours, health officials say they confirmed 3,947 more cases of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. It is the highest positivity rate the province has reported since the start of the pandemic.
The province reports a test positivity rate of 9.5 per cent, up from 7.7 a day ago and 7.8 last week.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary.
Ontario's seven day average now sits at 3,868.
More than 700 Ontario pharmacies are joining the COVID-19 vaccine rollout as the province races to slow to spread of the virus.
Tuesday's report comes as intensive care admissions related to COVID-19 remain at an all-time high.
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Well over half of the new cases today are coming from hot spot regions with 1,282 new cases in Toronto, 772 in Peel, 564 in York Region, 339 in Ottawa and 224 in Durham.
Another 2,445 cases have been labelled resolved, bringing the total number of resolved cases to 348,684. The instruction, given Friday, was to preserve critical care capacity because of the soaring numbers of COVID-19 in the third wave of the pandemic.
With the new locations, more than 1,400 pharmacies will offer vaccines, with the province expecting to add another 100 by the end of April.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says the government is exploring its options to boost hospital capacity and staffing levels as variants of concern wreak havoc on the province.
The Edmundston and the Upper Madawaska region went under full lockdown as of midnight after 15 of 19 new COVID-19 cases announced in the province on Saturday were identified in the area.
There were 95,692 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on April 12, which is up from 74,7224 doses on April 11.