Ottawa will enter the province's Red level of COVID-19 of COVID-19 preventive measures as of midnight Friday morning, Ontario announced Thursday.
More than 1.3-million people in Ontario have now received a dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
"Together with clinical and public health data, wastewater monitoring can help local public health units identify potential COVID-19 outbreaks and enable more timely decisions about how and where to mobilize resources in response".
The latest provincial numbers confirm 39 additional cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom and an additional case of the B.1351 variant first detected in South Africa.
There were 56,134 tests completed in the last 24 hour period.
Locally, there are 478 new cases in Toronto, 344 in Peel, 174 in York Region and 116 in Hamilton.
This brings the total number of confirmed variant cases in the province to 23.
Since the province began actively searching for COVID-19 variants of concern, there have been 10,995 mutations discovered in lab-positive tests across Ontario. There are now 309 COVID-19 patients in intensive care, according to the Ministry of Health, up from 282 last week. Much more contagious variant strains of the disease is helping drive recent cases, and 208 are suspected to be variants, while another three have been confirmed to be variants.
Meanwhile, 1,420,599 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario thus far, including 61,146 administered in the previous day. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.
As a result, the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU could hit 500 by the first week of April.
There are now 1,175 cumulative cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, 48 cases of the B 1.351 variant and 35 cases of the P.1 variant first detected in Brazil.