Ontario reported 27 more virus-related deaths, while hospitalizations fell for the second day in a row, on Friday.
According to the Ministry of Health, all of the deaths occurred within the last month, with two of the victims being long-term care home residents.
However, one death was removed from the province’s total today, bringing the total to 12,704.
There are currently 1,591 people hospitalized in Ontario hospitals with the virus, down from 1,626 yesterday and 1,662 on Wednesday. Hospitalizations, on the other hand, are up from a week ago, when occupancy was at 1,427.
Forty-five per cent of current hospital patients were admitted for COVID-19- related reasons, while 55 per cent were admitted for other reasons but subsequently tested positive for the virus.
The ministry says 214 of the hospitalized patients are currently in intensive care, up by seven from yesterday and 32 more than a week ago.
Among the ICU patients, 61 per cent were admitted for COVID-19 and 39 per cent were admitted for other reasons and tested positive for the virus.
Ontario labs processed 20,828 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 16.1 per cent, down from 18.3 yesterday and from 18.8 a week ago, according to the ministry.
The province confirmed 4,668 more cases today but Health Minister Christine Elliott’s spokesperson said in a statement that today’s case count is due to a data catch-up and “is not reflective of a real daily increase in case numbers.”
Health officials maintain that daily case counts have been an underestimate for months due to limitations on access to free PCR testing, which came into effect at the end of December.
Among the latest cases, 2,939 of the infected individuals have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 1,022 have received two doses, 489 are not fully vaccinated and 218 have an unknown vaccination status.
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says this wave is having an impact on the health-care system but not to the same degree as previous waves did.
“To my knowledge this (wave) has not had a significant impact on, you know, surgeries. In the past, at least at a provincial level and in many different hospitals, non-urgent surgeries were cancelled. You’re just not seeing that during this wave,” he told CP24 on Friday.
“Of course this wave is having an impact on the health-care system, and this wave isn’t over. But compared to prior waves, it’s not having the same degree of impact as it did,” he added.
Yesterday, the province administered over 39,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses across the province.