The news comes as the health ministry reported 384 more cases and the deaths of 12 more with the disease. The 202,984 shots distributed on Tuesday broke the previous single-day record of 199,951 set last week. Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician and member of the Ontario COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, said about 80% of those injections were second doses.
Ontario averages over 180,000 vaccinations per day, while more than 75 percent of adults in the province have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
It is already above the 70 percent threshold that the government has set as the main criterion for moving to phase 2 of the plan to reopen the province.
Another key benchmark is that at least 20% of adults are completely immune to the virus. Given the current trajectory of second doses – which have exceeded doses used for first injections – Ontario could hit the target by the end of this week.
Share of delta variant cases on the rise again
Meanwhile, the additional cases confirmed today are down somewhat from last Wednesday, when the province recorded 411 infections.
Laboratories performed more than 28,000 tests and Public Health Ontario reported a positivity of 1.5 percent, its lowest point since early October.
The seven-day average of daily cases edged down to 475.
Notably, the Ontario COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table estimates that the delta variant of concern, first identified in India, now accounts for about 50% of new COVID-19 cases. That’s up from his June 14 estimate of 40%.
Part of that increase, however, is attributable to a drop in the share of new cases caused by the alpha B117 variant, first identified in the UK.
The R-value, a measure of how many people, on average, an infected person will infect, stands at 0.84, according to the table. Values below 1 suggest the spread of the virus is contracting rather than expanding, although that figure is up from 0.77 yesterday.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-related illnesses increased slightly yesterday, from 433 to 438. Of those, 377 were being treated in intensive care and 242 needed a ventilator to breathe – two small decreases from the day before.
The additional deaths reported today bring the official toll to 8,986.
Provincial borders reopen
Ontario’s borders with Quebec and Manitoba reopen completely today.
A provincial order restricting interprovincial travel between these provinces expired at midnight.
The regulations were introduced on April 19 as the third wave of the pandemic reached its peak. It applied to land and sea borders.
Travel between regions was limited to essential reasons such as health care, custody or compassionate grounds such as attending a funeral.
It also allowed law enforcement to arrest and question people about the reasons for their entry into Ontario.