TORONTO -- Canada reported 9,244 COVID-19 infections on Friday, a new single-day high since the start of the pandemic.

The record-breaking number comes amid surging hospitalizations as provinces impose further restrictions to contain the virus.

A rise in variant cases have also forced hospitals in Ontario to stop performing all non-essential surgeries -- unless they are life-saving -- in an effort to free up hospital beds.

Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said the rapidly spreading variants have now likely replaced the original virus, as more young people are getting sicker.

“Over the past week, the number of new variant cases has more than doubled,” Tam said Friday.

To date more than 26,000 cases linked to variants of concern have been reported across Canada, while the B.1.1.7 accounts for more than 90 per cent, according to Tam.

The majority of the B.1.1.7 cases are found in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, according to data tracked by

The variant was first identified in the United Kingdom and it accounts for the majority of variant infections across the country.

The P.1 variant first identified in Brazil is also of concern as it topped more than 1,000 cases in Canada after doubling in the last week alone.

The B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa is also picking up momentum after recently reporting more than 150 cases in Quebec and 76 in Ontario.

Hospital admissions are also on the rise as health-care staff try to keep up with overflowing ICUs. Experts say the number of COVID-19 patients in ICUs continue to test hospital capacities with patients battling the disease.

Despite several provinces tightening public health restrictions, officials say COVID-19 forecasts will likely continue to climb as reported cases are often delayed.

More provinces are also adjusting their vaccination campaigns and aiming to take a more targeted approach to vulnerable communities. including essential workers and people who live in neighbourhoods that are disproportionately affected by the virus.

As of Friday evening, Canada has administered a total of 7,569,321 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to’s vaccine tracker. A total of 17.86 per cent of the total population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The federal government projects that every Canadian adult who wants a vaccine will receive one by the end of summer. However, Tam noted that public health measures must continue to be followed.

“All of these trends tell us that even as vaccines are bringing us closer to ending this crisis, we cannot afford to give this virus an inch,” said Tam.