Ontario has verified the addition of 18 more people. As most remaining pandemic restrictions were relaxed Tuesday, there were fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths and less than 1,000 persons hospitalized with the virus.
The Ministry of Health reports that 16 people have died in the last 18 days, with one on February 28, five on February 27, and two on February 26.
The government says two deaths that occurred more than a month ago have been added to the province’s total death toll today as a result of a data cleansing.
There have been 12,451 virus-related deaths since March 2020.
There are currently 914 people hospitalized with the virus, up from 849 yesterday but down from 1,038 a week ago.
Health Minister Christine Elliott tweeted Tuesday that 45 per cent of hospital patients were admitted for COVID-19 and 55 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the virus.
Of those in hospital, 278 are in intensive care, compared to 319 a week ago. ICU occupancy has been steadily declining for the past month.
Eighty per cent of ICU patients were admitted for COVID-19 and 20 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the virus, Elliott says.
Provincial labs processed more than 13,000 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 10.3 per cent, compared to 6.9 per cent a week ago, the ministry says.
Ontario confirmed 1,176 new coronavirus cases today, but health officials warn that is an underestimate due to testing restrictions.
Among the latest cases, 858 of the individuals are fully vaccinated, 165 are unvaccinated, 27 are partially vaccinated and 126 have an unknown vaccination status.
So far, over 89 per cent of eligible Ontarians aged five years and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 85 per cent have received two doses and nearly 50 per cent have received three doses.
To date, there have been 1,103,187 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,073,281 recoveries since Jan. 2020.
Ontario ended most of its COVID-19 public health measures today, including proof of vaccination in indoor settings, such as restaurants, gyms and movie theatres.
However, the vaccination certificate system is optional for businesses that choose to keep it.
Meanwhile, all capacity limits have been lifted for sporting and concert venues and for social gatherings.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Zain Chagla says there likely won’t be a big rise in cases as restrictions are lifted because of the high number of fully vaccinated individuals.
“The vast majority of people have been immunized. Because of Omicron, a lot of immunity has spread across the population, and we’re in a much better spot now than we were at the start of the Omicron wave,” he told CP24 on Tuesday morning.
Premier Doug Ford stated at a press conference on Monday that the mask regulations may be lifted later this month.
“We’re not far away,” Ford remarked, “so let’s keep working together.” “What I’m hearing is that it will happen in the next two weeks, possibly after March Break.”
Mask regulations will likely be dropped “simultaneously” across most sectors, including schools, Ontario’s top doctor said last month.