Ontario reports nearly 3,700 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths as ICU patients surpass 800

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Amid plummeting popularity, Ontario Premier Doug Ford offers apology, pledges paid sick leave
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario Premier Doug Ford is now apologizing for his COVID-19 restrictions and pledging to create a paid sick leave program, following months of demands. Travis Dhanraj reports on a provincial government in crisis – Apr 22, 2021

Ontario is reporting 3,682 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. The provincial total now stands at 432,805.

Thursday’s case count has dipped back below 4,000 after Wednesday recorded 4,212 new infections. On Tuesday, 3,469 new cases were recorded but prior to that, cases were above 4,000 for the previous six days.

According to Thursday’s report, 1,131 cases were recorded in Toronto, 507 in Peel Region, 436 in York Region, 279 in Ottawa and 200 in Durham Region.

All other local public health units reported fewer than 200 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 7,829 as 40 more deaths were recorded, a third wave high.

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Meanwhile, 378,417 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is about 88 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 4,597 from the previous day. There were more resolved cases than new cases on Thursday.

Ontario reported 2,350 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 (up by 15 from the previous day) with an all-time high of 806 patients in intensive care units (up by 16) and 588 patients in ICUs on a ventilator (up by 22).

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 41,962 — down from the previous day when it was at 42,917, but up from April 15 when it was at 38,341. At the peak of the second wave coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit just above 30,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 4,176, down from yesterday at 4,327, and is down from last week at 4208. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 1,400.

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The government said 54,246 tests were processed in the last 24 hours. There is currently a backlog of 33,327 tests awaiting results. A total of 13,722,749 tests have been completed since the start of the pandemic.

Test positivity for Thursday was 7.8 per cent. That figure is down from Wednesday’s at 7.9 per cent, and is down from last week when it was 8 per cent.

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, a total of 4,266,802 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. That marks an increase of 134,920 vaccines in the last day. There are 351,354 people fully vaccinated with two doses.

Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are the vaccines currently approved in Canada. The first three require two shots administered several weeks apart while the fourth requires only one. J & J vaccines have not yet arrived in Canada.

The province’s top doctor said the province appears to be at a “very precarious transition time” as several pandemic indicators, including the seven-day average in new daily cases and the virus’s reproductive number, decreased slightly compared with last week.

“Are we at a plateau? Some things are plateauing, some things are dipping down a bit,” Dr. David Williams said.

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Dr. Dirk Huyer, Ontario’s co-ordinator of the provincial outbreak response, highlighted what he deemed a “new, unfortunate and sad” development — people dying from COVID-19 at home, without being hospitalized.

He said there have been an average of two such deaths per day over the last two weeks, “in excess anything that we saw during wave one and over wave two.”

Variants of concern in Ontario

Officials have listed breakdown data for the new VOCs (variants of concern) detected so far in the province which consist of the B.1.1.7 (first detected in the United Kingdom), B.1.351 (first detected in South Africa), P.1 (first detected in Brazil), as well as mutations that have no determined lineage.

The B.1.1.7 VOC is currently the dominating known strain at 44,205 variant cases, which is up by 2,810 since the previous day, 113 B.1.351 variant cases which is up by five, and 218 P.1 variant cases which is up by six.

Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

  • 214,819 people are male — an increase of 1,818 cases.
  • 215,195 people are female — an increase of 1,789 cases.
  • 65,752 people are 19 and under — an increase of 634 cases.
  • 158,960 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 1,395 cases.
  • 124,778 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 1,120 cases.
  • 60,195 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 471 cases.
  • 23,005 people are 80 and over — an increase of 66 cases.
  • The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

Here is a breakdown of the total deaths related to COVID-19 by age:

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  • Deaths reported in ages 19 and under: 2
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 45 (+1)
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 358 (+5)
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 2,287 (+23)
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,136 (+11)
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data corrections or updates can result in death records being removed.

Cases, deaths and outbreaks in Ontario long-term care homes

According to the Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,755 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario which is unchanged. Eleven virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 37 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by three from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 42 active cases among long-term care residents and 135 active cases among staff — up by five and up by 13, respectively, in the last day.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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