The number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals continued to rise on Saturday, with Ontario reporting nine more virus-related deaths.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 707 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals, marking the third consecutive day of rises in hospitalizations.
Yesterday, there were 667 individuals in hospitals with the virus, compared to 613 patients a week before.
COVID was the reason for 47% of current hospitalized patients, while 53% were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care continues to gradually decline. There are currently 157 patients in ICU, down four from yesterday and 28 from a week ago.
Among ICU patients, 76 per cent were admitted for COVID-19 and 24 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott reiterated yesterday that the province predicted there would be a rise in cases and hospitalizations as pandemic restrictions are lifted, including the removal of mask mandates on Monday.
“Dr. Moore (Ontario’s chief medical officer of health) did indicate several times that as we opened Ontario up we would see higher levels in the wastewater surveillance but we are confident that we have the capabilities in our hospitals to be able to take care of anyone who needs a hospital bed or needs to be in intensive care,” she said at a press conference.
The ministry says five of the latest deaths occurred in the past month and four of the deaths happened more than a month ago. Two of the deaths were long-term care home residents.
Since March 2020, there have been 12,397 virus-related deaths in Ontario.
Provincial labs processed more than 17,300 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 13.5 per cent, according to the ministry.
Ontario reported 2,754 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases today, but health experts say this is an underestimate due to limited provincially-funded PCR testing.
Among the latest cases, 1,516 individuals received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 732 received two doses, 289 are not fully vaccinated and 217 have an unknown vaccination status.
To date, 89 per cent of Ontarians aged five and over have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 86 per cent have received two doses and 51 per cent have received three doses.