As Ontario continues to show signs of exiting the sixth wave of the pandemic, the number of persons hospitalized with COVID-19 is down more than 8% week over week.
According to the Ministry of Health, 1,555 persons have been admitted to hospitals with the novel coronavirus-related condition, up from 1,699 this time last week and 1,734 two weeks ago (April 27).
The number of COVID patients undergoing critical care treatment is also decreasing.
The latest data suggests that there are now just 188 COVID patients in the ICU, compared to 202 at this last week.
The slow decline in hospitalizations comes weeks after wastewater surveillance data started to point towards a reduction in virus activity in the province.
Case counts and positivity rates have also been on the decline for weeks.
On Tuesday Ontario reported 1,089 new cases detected through PCR testing, which was the lowest number in any single 24-hour period in nearly two months, excluding April 20.
The positivity rate on those tests is also down to 13 per cent over the last seven days after topping 18 per cent in early April.
Speaking with CP24 on Tuesday morning, infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said that the turnaround is a good sign for a healthcare system that has been under immense pressure for the last two years.
However, he warned that patient volumes still remain elevated when compared to the pre-pandemic norm.
“Even before COVID-19 our healthcare system was stretched. Every February or January, every influenza season you would hear the same headlines – hallway medicine, beds in the hallways and not enough beds for patients – but those were predictable stressors,” he said. “Now you have COVID-19 which adds a whole lot more stress to an already stretched healthcare system and then you factor in incredible staff burnout across all professions in healthcare and people leaving the profession or scaling back in droves, which puts even more significant pressure on the healthcare system. So it is a very challenging time and there is no quick fixes, there is no silver bullet. It is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted solution.”