Ontario shatters previous single-day record with almost 14,000 new COVID cases

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Unprecedented COVID-19 case numbers could change protocols
WATCH ABOVE: Unprecedented COVID-19 case numbers could change protocols – Dec 29, 2021

Ontario is reporting 13,807 new COVID cases on Thursday, setting yet another new record for the most cases recorded within 24 hours. The provincial case total now stands at 739,648.

Thursday’s count surpassed the previous single-day high reported just the day before on Wednesday when 10,436 new cases were recorded. There were 8,825 new cases on Tuesday, and 9,418 on Monday.

Case counts due to the Omicron variant have surged over the last couple weeks. For comparison, last Thursday saw 5,790 new cases and the Thursday before that saw 2,421. The seven-day average has now reached 10,328, up from a week ago when it was 4,002.

For the regional breakdown, 3,478 cases were recorded in Toronto, 1,468 in Peel Region, 1,224 in York Region, 939 in Hamilton, 732 in Halton Region, 683 in Ottawa, 628 in Waterloo and 538 in Durham Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 500 new cases in the provincial report.

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Ontario did not release a breakdown of cases based on vaccination status for Thursday as it typically does.

Although ICU capacity had previously remained relatively stable, the number of people in ICUs and for general hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is now on the rise following the surge in cases.

Deaths, vaccinations, recoveries, active cases, testing, test positivity

The death toll in the province has risen to 10,179 as eight more virus-related deaths were reported.

As of 8 p.m. on Wednesday, there are more than 11.4 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 88.1 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 90.7 per cent.

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The province administered 197,280 doses in the last day. There are more than 3.3 million Ontarians who have received a booster shot.

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For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 42.5 per cent — 457,985 doses out of just over 1 million eligible children.

Meanwhile, 642,715 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is 87 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 4,037 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at record 86,754 — up from the previous day when it was at 76,992, and is up from Dec. 22 when it was at 28,288. 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 government said 67,301 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours. There are 96,455 tests currently under investigation — the largest backlog seen to date.

Test positivity hit 30.5 per cent meaning almost 1 in 3 tests are coming back positive for COVID — the highest ever seen. Last week, test positivity was at 16 per cent.

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Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported 965 people in general hospital wards with COVID-19 (up by 239 from the previous day) with 200 patients in intensive care units (up by 10) and 104 patients are in ICUs on ventilators (unchanged).

For comparison, in the third wave peak in April 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 among a population that was vastly unvaccinated.

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.

For those in general hospital wards with COVID, 182 were unvaccinated, 24 were partially vaccinated and 399 were fully vaccinated. For those in ICUs, 73 were unvaccinated while 2 were partially vaccinated and 45 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:

  • 368,850 people are male — an increase of 6,566 cases.
  • 368,067 people are female — an increase of 7,223 cases.
  • 21,811 people are under the age of four — an increase of 415 cases.
  • 46,709 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 979 cases.
  • 67,020 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 1,393 cases.
  • 282,623 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 5,832 cases.
  • 203,157 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 3,820 cases.
  • 90,025 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 1,151 cases.
  • 28,139 people are 80 and over — an increase of 217 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: Eight
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 112
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 729
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79: 3,367
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,961
  • 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 3,833 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 58 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by 11 from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 186 active cases among long-term care residents and 307 active cases among staff — up by 60 and up by 105, respectively, in the last day.

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