Ontario reports more than 16,700 new COVID cases, number of people in intensive care rises

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WATCH ABOVE: Although Canada's COVID-19 cases are exploding due to the Omicron variant, some provinces are now shortening the isolation periods for vaccinated Canadians infected by the virus. Ross Lord explains what's behind the move, and where provinces differ in their pandemic response. – Jan 1, 2022

Ontario is reporting more than 16,700 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and an increase of 10 people in ICUs with virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 16,714 new infections. On Saturday, a record 18,445 cases were reported.

New PCR testing requirements recently came into effect in Ontario. The tests are now available only for certain high-risk populations.

The move came as the province’s testing system became strained with high demand amid the Omicron surge.

It means that daily case counts in Ontario are becoming less accurate in displaying a true representation of the virus’s spread in the community.

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Public Health Ontario data shows there were 17 additional COVID-related deaths, bringing the provincial death toll to 10,223. One of the deaths occurred more than a month ago and was added due to a data clean-up.

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Elliott said there are 224 people in intensive care with COVID-19, which is an increase of 10 compared with Saturday’s report.

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There are 1,117 people hospitalized with COVID, which is down by 197. However, Elliott noted that not all hospitals report figures on weekends.

The total number of resolved COVID-19 cases in Ontario stands at 658,015, marking an increase of 5,901.

Elliott said a total of more than 124,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered on Friday and Saturday.

Not all provincial COVID-19 data was updated on Sunday due to the holidays. All data is expected to be updated on Tuesday.

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