Ontario reports 2,421 new COVID cases, nearly double from a week ago

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Ontario is reporting 2,421 new COVID cases on Thursday, as positive infections continue to surge daily amid the highly contagious Omicron variant. The provincial case total now stands at 639,341.

For comparison, last Thursday saw 1,290 new cases and the previous Thursday saw 780.

Over the last three days, there were 1,808 new cases reported Wednesday, 1,429 on Tuesday, and 1,536 on Monday. Thursday’s count is the highest one-day total since May 15 when 2,584 new cases were recorded.

However, as infections surge, patients with COVID in ICUs (intensive care units) have remained relatively stable but are overall on a slow rise.

Of the 2,421 new cases recorded, the data showed 686 were unvaccinated people, 72 were partially vaccinated people, 1,530 were fully vaccinated people and for 133 people the vaccination status was unknown.

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According to Thursday’s report, 505 cases were recorded in Toronto, 206 in Ottawa, 190 in the Kingston area, 153 in Peel Region,143 in York Region, 130 in Windsor-Essex, and 115 in Niagara. All other local public health units reported fewer than 115 new cases in the provincial report.

Read more: Ontario names locations to pick up free COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in Toronto-area

Deaths, vaccinations, recoveries, testing, 7-day average in Ontario

The death toll in the province has risen to 10,102 as nine more deaths were reported.

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, there are more than 11.3 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 87.7 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 90.4 per cent. There are 1,441,100 Ontarians who have received a booster shot.

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For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 33.2 per cent — 358,297 doses out of just over 1 million eligible children.

Meanwhile, 615,174 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 96 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 1,013  from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 14,065 — up from the previous day when it was at 12,666, and is up from Dec. 9 when it was at 8,661. 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 1,676, a months-long high since late May as Ontario emerged from a devastating third wave. This is up from the week prior when it was 1,055. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 600.

The government said 54,724 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours which is the most tests in a single day in several months. There are 28,959 tests currently under investigation.

Test positivity hit 7 per cent — the highest seen since mid-May. Last week, test positivity was at 3.5 per cent.

Read more: Ontario reintroducing capacity limits for large indoor venues amid Omicron concerns

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Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 328 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (down by 29 from the previous day) with 165 patients in intensive care units (up by 11) and 147 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (up by 11).

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, 124 were unvaccinated, 7 were partially vaccinated and 72 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 69 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.

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

  • 319,628 people are male — an increase of 1,235 cases.
  • 317,429 people are female — an increase of 1,172 cases.
  • 19,010 people are under the age of four — an increase of 81 cases.
  • 38,725 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 297 cases.
  • 56,804 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 241 cases.
  • 237,742 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 938 cases.
  • 177,766 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 638 cases.
  • 82,224 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 186 cases.
  • 26,954 people are 80 and over — an increase of 36 cases.
  • The province notes that not all cases have a reported age or gender.

Read more: Vaccines not enough to curb Omicron spread, stronger public measures needed: Ontario modelling

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: 112
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 715
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,333
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,934
  • 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 1,167 out of 4,844 schools in Ontario with at least one COVID-19 case.

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On Thursday, Ontario reported 335 new COVID-19 cases in schools — with 278 among students, 47 among staff and 10 individuals were not identified. The data was collected between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon — a 24-hour period.

There are 2,864 active infections among both students and staff, compared with 2,675 active cases reported the previous day.

There are also 60 schools 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 3,829 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.

There are 11 current outbreaks in homes, which is unchanged from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 21 active cases among long-term care residents and 31 active cases among staff — up by three and up by one, respectively, in the last day.

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