Ontario reports 13,578 new COVID cases, more people in hospital and ICUs

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Ontario is reporting more than 13,500 new COVID cases on Monday, as case counts continue to hover around unprecedented highs. The provincial case total now stands at 805,098.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there were 13,578 new infections. Monday’s count is a slight dip from Sunday which saw 16,714 new infections and from Saturday’s record-breaking 18,445 new cases.

The seven-day average has now reached 14,074, up drastically from a week ago when it was at 7,550.

Elliott said there are 248 people in intensive care with COVID-19, which is an increase of 24 compared with Sunday’s report.

For hospitalizations overall, Elliott said there are 1,232 people with COVID, up from 1,117 reported the previous day.

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Elliott noted that not all hospitals submit reports on the weekend.

Although Elliott released some data via Twitter, full datasets by the government were not released due to the holidays and are expected to be released on Tuesday.

Testing volume or positivity data, active cases, or the vaccination status for cases and hospitalizations was not available.

Ontario administered more than 89,000 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours. Of the aged 12 and older population, there are 90.8 per cent of Ontarians with one dose and 88.2 percent of Ontarians who are fully vaccinated.

Public Health Ontario released some additional data late Monday morning.

In their report, six more deaths were recorded. The death toll now stands at 10,229.

Resolved cases increased by 6,547 in the last day totaling 664,562 recoveries.

For the regional breakdown, 3,006 cases were recorded in Toronto, 1,433 in Peel Region, 1,260 in York Region, 995 in Ottawa, and 714 in Durham Region. All other local public health units reported fewer than 700 new cases in the provincial report.

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Public Health Ontario has cautioned that due to recent changes in testing availability amid the highly infectious Omicron variant that case counts are “an underestimate of the true number of individuals with COVID-19 in Ontario. As such, data should be interpreted with caution.”

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

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.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the focus is being shifted from case counts and positivity rates to hospitalizations and using resources to protect the health-care system and vulnerable populations such as long-term care.


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