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Ontario reports 1,553 new COVID cases Thursday

The province has also reported 15 deaths, 1,236 recoveries, and 65 new hospitalizations in today's update

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. 
  • Another 10,291 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 58,119 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 administered on March 17, which is down from 58,202 administered on March 16. 
  • As of 8 p.m. on March 16, the province reported 1,359,453 doses of vaccine against COVID-19 have been administered.
  • In total, 292,269 people have been fully vaccinated.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 323,509 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and reported 303,493 recoveries and 7,202 deaths, of which 3,888 were individuals living in long-term care homes.

The cumulative average incidence rate in the province is 2,176.4 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 11.3 per cent from last week (March 2 - March 8). 

Yesterday, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 44 new cases.

There are currently 386 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 7,079 cases of COVID-19 with 6,424 of those cases recovered and 193 cases ending in death. 

The weekly incidence rate for Simcoe-Muskoka region is 44.4 cases per 100,000 people, which is up by 13.3 per cent compared to 39.2 cases per 100,000 people for the week of March 2 to March 8.

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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 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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