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Ontario reports almost 1,300 new COVID-19 cases, 10 more deaths

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Ontario is reporting 1,290 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the largest increase in cases since late May and a fourth wave high. The provincial case total now stands at 627,611.

For comparison, last Thursday saw 959 new cases and the previous Thursday saw 748. Over the last three days, there were 1,009 new cases reported Wednesday, 928 on Tuesday and 887 on Monday.

However, the province processed over 40,000 tests the most in several months and patients with COVID in ICUs remained unchanged from the previous day.

Of the 1,290 new cases recorded, the data showed 548 were unvaccinated people, 42 were partially vaccinated people, 617 were fully vaccinated people and for 83 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Thursday’s report, 206 cases were recorded in Toronto, 114 in Windsor-Essex, 103 in Simcoe-Muskoka, 98 in the Kingston area, 71 in Peel Region, and 66 in York Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 65 new cases in the provincial report.

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The death toll in the province has risen to 10,054 as 10 more deaths were reported.

Read more: Ontario science table recommends weekly rapid COVID tests in schools, workplaces in some areas

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

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, there are more than 11.3 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 87.5 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 90.2 per cent. There are 965,209 Ontarians who have received a booster shot.

For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 25 per cent — 270,059 doses out of just over 1 million eligible children.

Meanwhile, 608,896 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 97 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 970 from the previous day.

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Active cases in Ontario now stand at 8,661 — up from the previous day when it was at 8,351, and is up from Dec. 2 when it was at 6,932. 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 1,055, which is up from the week prior when it was 821. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 500.

The government said 40,242 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours — the most number of tests in several months. There are 23,263 tests currently under investigation.

Test positivity hit 3.5 per cent. Last week, test positivity was at 2.9 per cent.

Read more: Premier Doug Ford defends current approach amid calls for more rapid COVID test access

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 309 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by 24 from the previous day) with 155 patients in intensive care units (unchanged) and 135 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (unchanged).

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.

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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, 106 were unvaccinated, 8 were partially vaccinated and 77 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 64 were unvaccinated while 5 were partially vaccinated and 24 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.

Read more: QR code Christmas sweaters display vaccine passport, are ‘functional’, Toronto company says

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

  • 313,726 people are male — an increase of 649 cases.
  • 311,661 people are female — an increase of 643 cases.
  • 18,524 people are under the age of four — an increase of 44 cases.
  • 36,735 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 230  cases.
  • 55,647 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 111 cases.
  • 233,808 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 408 cases.
  • 174,878 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 318 cases.
  • 81,127 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 150 cases.
  • 26,783 people are 80 and over — an increase of 27 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: Seven
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 107
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 708
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,315
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,916
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data

Read more: Here’s why WHO skipped 2 Greek letters to name new variant ‘Omicron’

Cases among students and staff at Ontario schools

Meanwhile, government figures show there are currently 860 out of 4,844 schools in Ontario with at least one COVID-19 case.

On Thursday, Ontario reported 227 new COVID-19 cases in schools — with 198 among students, 24 among staff and five individuals were not identified. The data was collected between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon — a 24-hour period.

There are 2,098 active infections among both students and staff, compared with 2,016 active cases reported the previous day.

Thirteen 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 3,828 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is unchanged since the previous day. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

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There are seven current outbreaks in homes, which is unchanged from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 17 active cases among long-term care residents and 28 active cases among staff — up by two for both in the last day.

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