As hospitalizations surge owing to the fast spreading Omicron variant, Ontario is reporting a new high of over 13,800 new COVID-19 cases.
Today, the province saw 13,807 new coronavirus infections, breaking the previous high of 10,436 instances set the day before.
On Sunday, 9,826 new COVID-19 cases were reported, followed by 9,418 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, and 8,825 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
The seven-day rolling average of new cases has already reached a new high of 10,328, up from 4,002 a week earlier.
The Ministry of Health says the vaccination status of the latest cases is not available due to technical difficulties.
So far, 87 per cent of Ontarians aged five and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 81 per cent have received two doses.
Another 4,037 people recovered from the virus yesterday, resulting in 86,754 known active cases across the province.
Eight more people have died from the virus in the past month, raising the death toll to 10,179.
As the Omicron variant spreads across the province, and worldwide, public health units have been slammed with a high demand for testing.
Ontario labs processed 67,301 tests yesterday, compared to 59,259 the day before.
More than 96,000 tests are currently under investigation.
With a backlog of tests in the pipeline, the Ministry of Health says recent case counts are an underestimate of the true number of infections in Ontario and should be “interpreted with caution.”
The government has said it is aiming to process 78,000 a day but, within the past few weeks, has only come close to that amount once when over 72,000 tests were processed on Christmas Eve.
The province’s testing positivity rate hit a record 30.5 per cent on Thursday, more than double the 16 per cent recorded a week ago.
In the Greater Toronto Area, Toronto reported 3,478 new COVID-19 cases, up from 2,715 infections the day before, while 1,468 new cases were logged in Peel Region, 1,224 in York, 732 in Halton and 538 in Durham.
The ministry says there are currently 965 people with the virus in Ontario hospitals, compared to 726 a day ago, and 200 of those patients are in intensive care units.
The seven-day average of COVID-19 related patients in ICU is 179.
Of the COVID-19 patients admitted to hospital in the past 24 hours, 182 are unvaccinated, 24 are partially vaccinated and 399 are fully vaccinated.
To date, there have been 739,648 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases and 642,715 recoveries in the province since the pandemic began almost two years ago.
Ontario’s top doctor is expected to announce an update to testing and contact tracing guidelines Thursday afternoon to address the overwhelming demand for both PCR and rapid tests.
Dr. Peter Jüni, the Scientific Director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, says the province should focus on limiting connections in order to reduce community transmission of the Omicron form.
“…Right now, we’re seeing that the 50% capacity restrictions are simply insufficient. So we’d have to set tighter capacity constraints and send out a clear message that people should work from home if they can, so that life can go on but at a slower pace with fewer connections,” he told CP24 on Thursday.
Moore’s announcement comes as various sources told CTV News Toronto yesterday that the Ford government is meeting to discuss back-to-school counseling for the new school year, which begins next week for most students.