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Ontario reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for 1st time since late May

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WATCH ABOVE: Ontario expanding COVID-19 booster shots to more groups – Dec 2, 2021

Ontario is reporting 1,031 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the first time the count has surpassed 1,000 in six months. The provincial case total now stands at 621,260.

The last time there were over a thousand cases was on May 30 when 1,033 new cases were recorded. Case counts are also rising week over week. For comparison, last Friday saw 927 new cases and the previous Friday saw 793. However, the testing volume was up on Friday and hospital ICUs remain relatively stable.

Ontario’s Health Minister Christine Elliott commented on the case count at an unrelated press conference on Friday and said it was something the province was already expecting.

“We did anticipate when we developed the roadmap to reopen, that there would be an increase in case counts,” Elliott said. “Even as cases are growing… our hospitalization rates remain low, and our intensive care units remain low.

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“I don’t think that’s anything that’s unanticipated.”

Read more: Ontario expands eligibility for 3rd COVID booster shots to those aged 50 and older

Of the 1,031 new cases recorded, the data showed 504 were unvaccinated people, 27 were partially vaccinated people, 442 were fully vaccinated people and for 58 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Friday’s report, 133 cases were recorded in Toronto, 106 in Simcoe Muskoka, 68 in Windsor-Essex, 60 in Peel Region, 59 in Sudbury, 58 in Ottawa, and 56 in York Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 50 new cases in the provincial report.

The death toll in the province has risen to 10,016 as four more deaths were reported.

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Vaccinations, recoveries, testing, 7-day average in Ontario

As of 8 p.m. on Thursday, there are more than 11.2 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 87.2 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 90 per cent.

For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 14.4 per cent — 154,925 doses out of just over 1 million eligible children — since shots went into arms last week.

Meanwhile, 604,027 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is around 97 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 742 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 7,217 — up from the previous day when it was at 6,932, and up from Nov. 26 when it was at 5,807. At the peak of the second wave coronavirus surge in January, active cases hit just above 30,000. In the third wave in April, active cases topped 43,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 866, which is up from the week prior when it was 711. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 375.

The government said 39,748 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours — the most tests in a single day since mid-May. There are 16,032 tests currently under investigation.

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Test positivity hit 2.9 per cent. Last week, test positivity was at 3 per cent.

Read more: COVID-19: 1 confirmed, 2 probable Omicron cases detected in Halton Region

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 286 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by five from the previous day) with 146 patients in intensive care units (down by nine) and 127 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (down by 12).

As of Dec. 2, there are 4 patients from Saskatchewan in Ontario hospitals, three of whom are in the ICU.

Ontario Health officials have recently said intensive care occupancy can hit between 250 or 300 patients before the health care system would be impacted and require ramping down some non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

In the third wave peak, which was the worst wave for hospitalizations, the province saw as many as 900 patients in ICUs with COVID and almost 2,400 in general hospital wards.

For those in general hospital wards with COVID, 88 were unvaccinated, 12 were partially vaccinated and 61 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 70 were unvaccinated while 5 were partially vaccinated and 27 were fully vaccinated.

Provincial officials noted this new dataset with vaccination status for hospitalizations will grow and improve over time as more information is collected. There may also be a discrepancy due to how and when the information for both is collected.

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Read more: Durham Region detects its 1st confirmed case of Omicron variant

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

  • 310,579 people are male — an increase of 515 cases.
  • 308,481 people are female — an increase of 511 cases.
  • 18,210 people are under the age of four — an increase of 63 cases.
  • 35,544 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 210 cases.
  • 55,175 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 87  cases.
  • 231,915 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 290 cases.
  • 173,287 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 247 cases.
  • 80,366 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 121  cases.
  • 26,654 people are 80 and over — an increase of 15 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:

  • Deaths reported in ages 19 and under: Seven
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 107
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 700
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,296
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,905
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data

Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there are currently 792 out of 4,844 schools in Ontario with at least one COVID-19 case.

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On Friday, Ontario reported 172 new COVID-19 cases in schools — with 152 among students, 18 among staff and two individuals were not identified. The data was collected between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon — a 24 hour period.

There are 1,815 active infections among both students and staff, compared with 1,748 active cases reported the previous day.

Nine schools are closed as a result of positive cases.

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

According to the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,826 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of two deaths since the previous day. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are five current outbreaks in homes, which is a decrease of two from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently five active cases among long-term care residents and 18 active cases among staff — up by one and down by two, respectively, in the last day.

— With files from Craig Lord

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