Ontario reports 256 new cases of COVID-19, two deaths, record high vaccinations

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Ontario is reporting 256 new cases of COVID-19 today and two deaths linked to the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 39 new cases in the Region of Waterloo, 38 in Peel Region, and 36 in Toronto.

She says there are also 18 new cases in Grey Bruce and 17 in Hamilton.

Today’s data is based on nearly 26,600 completed tests.

The Ministry of Health says 284 people are in intensive care because of the virus and 202 are on a ventilator.

Ontario says it administered a record high 246,393 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since Thursday’s report, for a total of more than 13.5 million.

The province said early Friday that it is offering faster second COVID-19 vaccine doses to more residents.

Starting Saturday, youth aged 12 to 17 who live in hot spots for the Delta variant can book faster appointments starting at 8 a.m.

All adults in Ontario who received their first dose of an mRNA vaccine can book accelerated second appointments on Monday.

That change means approximately 1.5 million Ontarians are eligible for an accelerated second dose.

The province says it’s expanding eligibility as 76 per cent of Ontarians have at least one vaccine dose and more than 30 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Shots were initially booked four months apart in Ontario but the province is shortening the interval based on supply and risk from the more infectious Delta variant.

Health units covering Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Peel, Porcupine, Simcoe-Muskoka, Toronto, Waterloo, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph and York are designated hot spots for the variant.

 

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