Ontario reported another 1,053 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the highest daily case count in half a year and the second day in a row where it has topped 1,000, as more cases of the omicron variant were confirmed in the province.
The latest infections involving the variant of concern emerged in Hamilton and Peel Region, according to news releases from local authorities.
A Hamilton resident who travelled recently to South Africa has tested positive, the agency said in a Saturday news release. A second potential case is under investigation, it said, but not yet confirmed. The two affected people are isolating.
Peel Region, meanwhile, said the person who tested positive was a close contact of a confirmed omicron case in Halton Region.
The public health unit said it had investigated the case "and risk of further spread is low."
The Hamilton case comes one day after Toronto Public Health confirmed its first three cases of the omicron variant. Two of the individuals affected had recently returned from Nigeria, while another had returned from Switzerland.
Cases have continued cropping up ever since, and there are now at least 10 recorded in Ontario.
Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health's daily provincial update:
Tests completed: 36,268.
Provincewide test positivity rate: 3.5 per cent.
Active cases: 7,540.
Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 160; 98 needed a ventilator to breathe.
Deaths: Eight, pushing the official toll to 10,024.
Vaccinations: 80,989 doses were administered, bringing the total doses administered to date up to 23,913,372. Currently, 90 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 years or older have received one dose of a vaccine, while 87.3 per cent have received two.
Ontario: New daily cases of COVID-19