Second dose eligibility expanded in some regions

OPP checkpoints

Ontario moves to stage 1 of reopening plan on Friday

"We've turned the corner in our progress against the pandemic", Science table co-chair Dr. Adalsteinn Brown said. "We can look forward to a much better summer".

Infections have already declined sharply in nearly all public health units over the past few weeks.

The data also shows testing numbers have dropped.

As for hospitals, normal operations could resume by mid-July with the modelling predicting fewer than 200 patients in the ICU by then.

Ontario is to release new COVID-19 projections today on the eve of its economic reopening.

COVID-19: 377 cases reported today
That would mean no more travel restrictions within the province, and outdoor social gatherings with up to 50 people. New outbreaks have been declared at Kelowna General Hospital and Glenwood Seniors Community in Agassiz.

The Delta variant, which is more transmissible and could be more risky, will likely be the dominant strain of the virus this summer.

"The province is further expanding eligibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 variants and protect communities with the highest rates of Delta (B.1.617) variant transmission".

A second dose of the vaccine adds 50 per cent effectiveness, officials said. "When we say it is the dominant form of the virus that just means it makes up the largest percentage of cases, not necessarily that it is growing absolutely".

"This is not a doomsday scenario. We have a really good chance of a good summer".

In a medium scenario, that number could jump back up to almost 1,000 cases per day by August.

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Finally, in the worst case scenario, the new more infectious variant would lead to a fourth wave of the pandemic in which daily case counts would rise exponentially and reach 2,500 by mid-August.

Health officials logged 590 new infections on Thursday, as well as 11 deaths related to the novel coronavirus.

As of June 9 at 8:00 p.m., over 10.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in Ontario.

While there are no postal code restrictions to book an accelerated second dose on Monday, earlier on Thursday the City of Toronto indicated it will be refocusing its first and second dose vaccine efforts on 18 Delta hotspots within the city, including mobile vaccination units.

Four new COVID-19 cases as Melbourne prepares for restrictions to ease
The Department of Health said the case is linked to existing outbreaks and has been quarantining during their infectious period. A final decision on eased restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria is expected to be finalised on Wednesday morning.

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