Niagaras public health office reported another big jump in variant cases on Thursday as another 57 cases were added to those caught in screening, as results begin to come in from past weeks.
The region now reports a total of 176 COVID-19 cases screening positive for the variant of concern, but only four have been determined to be the U.K variant.
Thursday's daily case load was 22, down significantly from the previous two days, with no new outbreaks reported.
Three nursing home outbreaks are still active.
Niagara Health reports nine people receiving care in hospital for COVID-19.
Public Health Ontario has reported 1,553 new cases of COVID-19 today (March 18).
Today's report includes 1,236 recoveries and 15 new deaths.
The deaths reported today include one person between 20 and 39 years old, five people between 60 and 79 years old, and nine people aged 80 or older. One of the deaths reported today was a resident of a long-term care home.
The province has reported 65 new hospitalizations since yesterday, and 10 new admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units.
The March 18 update provided by the province's public health agency also reported the following data:
- 12,814 active cases, which is up from 12,512 yesterday
- 730 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, down from 741 reported yesterday.
- There are 304 COVID patients in intensive care units (up from 300 yesterday) and 186 COVID patients on ventilators (down from 190 yesterday)
- The province reported 58,560 tests were processed yesterday resulting in a 3.1 per cent positivity rate.
- Another 32,330 tests are still under investigation and/or being processed. To date, 11.9 million tests have been completed.
- Of the 1,553 new cases reported today, 404 are from Toronto, 294 cases are from Peel, 176 are from York Region, and 15 are from Simcoe-Muskoka
- There are 69 active outbreaks at long-term care homes, 46 at retirement homes, and 29 at hospitals.
- The new cases reported today include 327 individuals aged 19 and under, 569 people between 20 and 39 years old, 439 people between 40 and 59 years old, 183 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 34 people aged 80 and over.
Variants of concern (Ontario-wide)
- 1,136 lab-confirmed cases of the UK variant strain of COVID-19 (B.1.1.7).
- 47 cases of B.1.351 (also known as the South African variant).
- 35 cases of P.1, which is the variant strain that originated in Brazil.