Today, Ontario added 75 more virus-related deaths to the province’s overall death toll, as COVID-19 hospitalizations and critical care admissions began to show “signs of stabilization,” according to the province’s health minister.
According to the province’s most recent data, there are currently 4,061 COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals, up from 3,630 just seven days earlier. COVID-19 patients currently number 594 in the ICU, up from 500 on Thursday.
According to the province, 55 percent of individuals brought to the hospital were diagnosed with COVID-19, while 45 percent were admitted for other reasons.
On Wednesday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said about 50 per cent of the adults in intensive care units across Ontario are unvaccinated despite only making up about 10 per cent of the population.
While the province continues to see a rise in the number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals, officials said Wednesday that the rate of increase appears to have slowed in the past week.
“We are beginning to see signs of stabilization. Omicron cases are expected to peak this month with a peak in hospitalizations and ICU admissions to follow,” Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said at a news conference, adding that at the beginning of the Omicron wave, the number of COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals was doubling every seven days.
“New hospitalizations are slowing and are now doubling closer to every two weeks. Experience in our hospitals has confirmed Omicron is not as severe as Delta, with far fewer patients requiring intensive care than in previous waves, despite much higher rates of transmission in the community.”
While there have been some early positive signs, Ontario Health CEO Matthew Anderson cautioned that hospitals won’t see the benefit of this slowing growth for a number of weeks.
“We still have hospitals that are under very challenging circumstances as we deal with these rising numbers,” he told reporters Wednesday. “Our health system will likely continue to experience challenges through February.”
Officials reported another 75 virus-related deaths today, which the province says happened over a 19-day span within the past month. This is the highest daily total logged since since Feb. 4, 2021 when 88 deaths were reported.
Another 7,757 new lab-confirmed cases were confirmed today but due to testing restrictions, that number is likely significantly lower than the true total.
With 42,907 tests processed over the past 24 hours, officials are reporting a provincewide positivity rate of 15.9 per cent, the lowest positivity rate in nearly a month. Most symptomatic adults in Ontario are still excluded from access to free PCR COVID-19 testing, so this metric likely does not accurately reflect the burden of infection in the province.
Of the new cases confirmed today, 1,079 involve people who are unvaccinated, 260 involve those who are partially vaccinated, 5,819 involve people who have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 599 involve those with an unknown vaccination status.
Premier Doug Ford is poised to ease public health regulations for eateries in the province later today, according to sources who spoke to CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.
Restaurants will be allowed to open at 50% capacity beginning January 31, according to sources.
On Jan. 5, Ontario reverted to a modified version of Step 2 of the Ford government’s reopening plan, banning indoor dining rooms, gyms, and movie theaters, and limiting private social gatherings to a maximum of five indoors, in an effort to minimize transmission of the highly contagious Omicron type. These limits, according to the government, will be in force until at least January 26.
Source_ The Canadian Press