The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Ontario has increased slightly from one week ago, but other indicators, such as case counts and the positivity rate on PCR tests, have continued to decline.
According to the Ontario Science Advisory Table, community transmission of the virus likely peaked earlier this month at around 100,000 new cases per day, but hospitalizations are considered a lagging indicator and may continue to rise into May.
According to the most recent Ministry of Health data released on Monday, there are now 1,455 people in hospital with COVID-19, a nearly 12% increase from this time last week (1,301).
The number of people being treated in intensive care with COVID-19 is up more than eight per cent from this time last week and now stands at 219. Of those people, 97 of them are breathing with the assistance of a ventilator.
The hospitalization occupancy numbers are actually down from recent days when more than 1,600 people were in hospital with COVID-19, however because many hospitals don’t upload data to the ministry over the weekend the numbers released on Mondays are typically an undercount and should only be compared to the beginning of the previous week.
Speaking with CP24 earlier in the day, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said that he expects hospitalizations will continue to rise for at least “another week or so” given the extremely high number of cases in the province throughout April.
Bogoch also cautioned people against interpreting the decline in virus levels detected through wastewater surveillance as a sign that this wave of the pandemic is over.
“You have to be very careful here because this doesn’t mean the pandemic is over or this wave is over,” he said. “It actually means the opposite. It means there are more infections now than at any other point during this wave. But on the positive side it means we are closer to coming down the other side of the mountain and that is a great sign.”