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Ontario reports 854 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, 2 deaths

Hedda Kehler, 10, receives a shot of the vaccine against COVID-19 on Nov. 26.  (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
Hedda Kehler, 10, receives a shot of the vaccine against COVID-19 on Nov. 26. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

Ontario reported another 854 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, as Premier Doug Ford asks public health officials to ramp up surveillance due to a new variant of concern that's cropped up in southern Africa.

Ford wants officials to prepare for all possible outcomes.

The federal government has banned travel from southern Africa due to the variant, which the World Health Organization has dubbed "omicron."

Canadian citizens and permanent residents arriving home from the region must get a COVID-19 test before they return, and will need to quarantine at a designated hotel until their entry test proves negative.

Ford wants further measures, saying everyone should be tested on arrival — not just before entering Canada, which is the current requirement.

Here are some other key pandemic indicators and figures from the Ministry of Health's daily provincial update:

Tests completed: 31,444.

Provincewide test positivity rate: 3 per cent.

Active cases: 6,079.

Patients in ICU with COVID-related illnesses: 134; 87 needed a ventilator to breathe.

Deaths: Two, pushing the official toll to 9,993.

Vaccinations: 22,895,217 doses have been administered to date. More than 89 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 years or older have now had one dose, while more than 86 per cent have had two.

Ontario: New daily cases of COVID-19

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