Ontario reports 4,383 new COVID cases, highest single-day count since late April

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Ontario COVID case counts likely much higher than official numbers
WATCH ABOVE: Ontario COVID case counts likely much higher than official numbers – Dec 21, 2021

Ontario is reporting 4,383 new COVID cases on Wednesday, as daily positive infections continue to rise amid the highly contagious Omicron variant. The provincial case total now stands at 661,563.

For comparison, last Wednesday saw 1,808 new cases and the previous Wednesday saw 1,009. Over the last three days, there were 3,453 new cases reported on Tuesday, 3,784 on Monday and 4,177 on Sunday.

Wednesday’s count is the highest one-day increase since April 23 when 4,505 new cases were recorded. The most number of cases ever reported in a single day throughout the pandemic in Ontario was on April 16 when there were 4,812 new cases amid the third wave when the province was under a strict lockdown that included a stay-at-home order and when a large portion of the population was still unvaccinated.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Table, a panel of doctors who advise the provincial government, noted on their dashboard that Omicron now accounts for at least 91 per cent of all positive cases, up from Friday when it was around 50 per cent.

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However, as infections soar, patients with COVID in ICUs (intensive care units) have remained relatively stable but are overall on a slow rise. Experts have said it could take up to two weeks or more following a surge in new cases to see a sharper rise in hospitalizations/ICUs.

Of the 4,383 new cases recorded, the data showed 746 were unvaccinated people, 172 were partially vaccinated people, 3,243 were fully vaccinated people and for 222 people the vaccination status was unknown.

According to Wednesday’s report, 1,284 cases were recorded in Toronto, 479 in York Region, 363 in Ottawa, 335 in Peel Region, 238 in Durham Region, and 223 in Halton Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 200 new cases in the provincial report.

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

The death toll in the province has risen to 10,133 as 10 deaths were reported.

As of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, there are more than 11.3 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 87.9 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 90.5 per cent. There are more than 2.3 million Ontarians who have received a booster shot.

For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 39.2 per cent — 423,365 doses out of just over 1 million eligible children.

Meanwhile, 623,142 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 94 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 1,787 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 28,288 — up from the previous day when it was at 25,702, and is up from Dec. 15 when it was at 12,666. 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 3,520, a months-long high since early May as Ontario emerged from a devastating third wave. This is up from the week prior when it was 1,514. A month ago, the seven-day average was around 650.

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The government said 55,381 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours. There are 58,038 tests currently under investigation.

Test positivity hit 10.7 per cent meaning more than 1 in 10 tests are coming back positive for COVID — the highest seen since the end of April. Last week, test positivity was at 6 per cent.

Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 420 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (up by 8 from the previous day) with 168 patients in intensive care units (up by three) and 108 patients in intensive care units on a ventilator (up by three).

Ontario Health officials have recently said intensive care occupancy can hit between 250 or 300 patients with COVID 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, 137 were unvaccinated, 13 were partially vaccinated and 109 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 83 were unvaccinated while 3 were partially vaccinated and 36 were fully vaccinated.

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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.

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

  • 330,888 people are male — an increase of 2,290 cases.
  • 328,265 people are female — an increase of 2,061 cases.
  • 19,608 people are under the age of four — an increase of 95 cases.
  • 41,065 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 417 cases.
  • 59,072 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 478 cases.
  • 247,300 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 1,912 cases.
  • 183,357 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 1,118 cases.
  • 83,872 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 328 cases.
  • 27,165 people are 80 and over — an increase of 38 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: 112
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 720
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,346
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,947
  • The province notes there may be a reporting delay for deaths and data

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

According to the Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care, there have been 3,832 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of one death since the previous day. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 18 current outbreaks in homes, which is down by one from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 28 active cases among long-term care residents and 42 active cases among staff — up by two and up by five, respectively, in the last day.


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