Ontario recorded more than 10,400 new COVID-19 cases, a new technical record for cases discovered in a single day, though officials believe tests are so sparse that case numbers are likely an undercount, on Wednesday.
The province recorded 10,436 new cases and three net new deaths, just outnumbering the previous high of 10,412 on December 25.
On Tuesday, Ontario reported 8,825 new cases, up from 9,418 on Monday.
The seven day-rolling average of new cases is now 9,183, up from 3,520 one week ago.
Throughout the past five days, the Ministry of Health said infections detected primarily involved fully vaccinated individuals.
On Wednesday, the Ministry said 1,514 cases involved unvaccinated people, 425 involved partially vaccinated people, 8,221 involved fully vaccinated people and 276 involved people with an unknown vaccination status.
Over the past few days, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table estimates that full vaccination generates only a 12 per cent relative reduction in risk of symptomatic infection due to the new Omicron variant.
Test positivity hit 26.9 per cent on Wednesday, and stayed between 19 and 25 per cent over the past four days.
Labs processed 59,259 test specimens in the previous period and a further 74,535 specimens remain under investigation.
Simply booking a timely PCR test appointment in the Toronto area is a challenge, with only one hospital assessment centre showing availability in the next 24 hours.
There have been 10,171 confirmed deaths due COVID-19 since March 2020, along with 638,678 recoveries and 76,992 known active cases.
Yesterday, the Ford government said it was considering altering isolation requirements for vaccinated asymptomatic COVID-positive people, with an eye on preventing staff shortages in the health care field and other essential industries.
The premier also said a decision on whether to reopen schools to in-person learning in January would come in the next few days.
UHN infectious diseases specialist Dr. Alon Vaisman said that using our current protocols for managing infection, requiring all people to seek testing and isolate for ten days, opening schools would be a challenge.
“The level of Omicron we’re seeing now would probably not allow us to open up schools in the first week of January,” he told CP24.
The Ministry of Health said hospital admissions due to COVID-19 reached 726 on Wednesday, up from about 500 before Christmas Day.
The number of patients in ICU reached 190, up from 168 one week ago.
Vaisman said the fact that hospitalizations are not exploding given Ontario’s recent case growth is reassuring.
“Every day we don’t see a massive spike in hospitalizations and deaths is a reassuring feature,” he told CP24. “This always takes a bit more time for us to see the full picture, but if you look at the total case counts we have now and the number of patients in the hospital, there has been for a while now a very wide discordance.”
The number of confirmed outbreaks across the province has risen substantially in the last few days, with 92 of 626 long-term care homes in the province now reporting outbreaks, along with 25 fitness facilities and 14 bars or restaurants.
Across the GTHA, Toronto reported 2,715 new cases, York Region reported 1,252 new cases and Peel reported 1,066 new cases.
Durham Region reported 524 new cases, Hamilton reported 539 new cases and Halton reported 437 new cases.
More than 176,000 vaccine doses were administered across the province on Tuesday, up from 144,700 on Monday.
Across all age groups, 82.6 per cent of Ontario residents have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 77.2 per cent have two doses and 21.7 per cent have three doses.
Source_ The Canadian Press