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Ontario reports 1,508 new COVID cases Wednesday

The province has also reported 14 deaths, 59 new hospitalizations, and 1,488 recoveries in today's update
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Public Health Ontario has reported 1,508 new cases of COVID-19 today (March 17).

Today's report includes 14 new deaths, including one person between 20 and 39 years old, one person between 40 and 59 years old, four people between 60 and 79 years old, and eight people aged 80 or older. Five of the deaths reported today were residents of long-term care homes. 

The province has reported 59 new hospitalizations since yesterday, and 16 new admissions of COVID-19 patients to intensive care units.

The March 17 update provided by the province's public health agency also reported the following data:

  • 1,488 recoveries
  • 12,512 active cases, which is up from 12,506 yesterday
  • 741 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario, down from 761 reported yesterday. 
  • There are 300 COVID patients in intensive care units (up from 292 yesterday) and 190 COVID patients on ventilators (down from 194 yesterday)
  • The province reported 49,128 tests were processed yesterday resulting in a 3.5 per cent positivity rate.
  • Another 35,201 tests are still under investigation and/or being processed. To date, 11.8 million tests have been completed.
  • Of the 1,508 new cases reported today, 542 are from Toronto, 253 cases are from Peel, 107 are from York Region, and 74 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 285 individuals aged 19 and under, 575 people between 20 and 39 years old, 404 people between 40 and 59 years old, 198 people between 60 and 79 years old, and 48 people aged 80 and over.

Variants of concern (Ontario-wide)

  • 1,134 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).
  • 34 cases of P.1, which is the variant strain that originated in Brazil. 
  • Another 9,652 cases have screened positive with a mutation detected, but the lineage for the variant strain not yet sequenced.
  • According to Public Health Ontario, there are delays between specimen collection and the testing required to confirm a variant of concern. As such, the reports can change and can differ from past case counts publicly reported.


  • There were 58,202 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on March 16, which is up from 51,579 administered on Mar. 15. 
  • As of 8 p.m. on March 16, the province reported 1,301,334 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered.
  • In total, 290,659 people have been fully vaccinated.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 321,956 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 302,257 recoveries and 7,187 deaths, of which 3,887 were individuals living in long-term care homes.

The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 2,165.9 cases per 100,000 people in Ontario.

The weekly incidence rate in Ontario is 63.1 cases per 100,000 people, which is an increase of 14.9 per cent from last week (Mar 1 - Mar. 7). 

Yesterday, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 71 new cases since Friday.

There are currently 421 active, lab-confirmed cases in the region, most of which are in Simcoe County. Twenty-two people are currently hospitalized. 

There have been 252 confirmed instances of the B.1.1.7 variant strain that originated in the UK, seven cases of the P.1 strain that originated in Brazil, and one case of the B.1.351 strain that originated in South Africa in cases reported in Simcoe County and Muskoka. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the local health unit has confirmed 7,070 cases of COVID-19 with 6,381 of those cases recovered and 193 cases ending in death. 

The weekly incidence rate for Simcoe-Muskoka region is 49.4 cases per 100,000 people, which is up by 27 per cent compared to 38.9 cases per 100,000 people for the week of Mar. 1 to March 7.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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