Ontario reports record of 2,472 people with COVID in hospital, 11,899 new cases

Click to play video: 'Registered Nurses’ Association warns of difficult times ahead as COVID spreads widely across Ontario'
Registered Nurses’ Association warns of difficult times ahead as COVID spreads widely across Ontario
WATCH ABOVE: Registered Nurses' Association warns of difficult times ahead as COVID spreads widely across Ontario. Sean O'Shea reports – Jan 6, 2022

Ontario is reporting the most number of patients in hospital with COVID at 2,472 since the start of the pandemic as the province continues to deal with the Omicron wave.

The province also reported 11,899 new COVID cases on Friday. The provincial case total now stands at 853,270.

Over the last three days, there were 13,339 new infections on Thursday, 11,582 reported on Wednesday, and 11,352 new cases on Tuesday. However, due to recent testing eligibility changes the province warns the counts are an underestimate of the true spread of the virus in the community.

Of the 11,899 new cases recorded, the data showed 1,543 were unvaccinated people, 375 were partially vaccinated people, 9,515 were fully vaccinated people and for 466 people the vaccination status was unknown.

For the regional breakdown, 2,405 cases were recorded in Toronto, 1,745 in Peel Region, 965 in York Region, 742 in Halton, 656 in Ottawa, 564 in Waterloo and 508 in Simcoe-Muskoka . All other local public health units reported fewer than 500 new cases in the provincial report.

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Hospitalizations in Ontario

Ontario reported a record 2,472 people in hospital wards with COVID-19 (up by 193 from the previous day) with 338 patients in intensive care units (up by 19).

This is the highest number of patients in hospital ever recorded, edging out the previous high of 2,360 reported on April 20, 2021 amid the third wave — ICU peaked 10 days later at 900 patients.

Last Friday, there were 1,144 hospitalizations with 205 in ICUs.

Although Omicron is considered less severe than Delta, the unprecedented surge in cases has driven hospitalizations and ICU admissions to soar as Ontario grapples to contain Omicron. Staffing shortages due to the new variant have impacted hospitals as the need for beds increases. Non-urgent surgeries have been ordered to pause.

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In terms of vaccination status, for those in general hospital wards with COVID, 441 were unvaccinated, 100 were partially vaccinated and 1,327 were fully vaccinated. For patients in ICUs, 119 were unvaccinated while 17 were partially vaccinated and 106 were fully vaccinated. This dataset will grow and improve over time, officials noted.

In population comparison, as the majority of Ontarians are vaccinated, those who are unvaccinated are still far more likely to land in hospital or ICU than the vaccinated, according to Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

Deaths, vaccinations, recoveries, active cases, 7-day average, testing, test positivity

The death toll in the province has risen to 10,315 as 43 more virus-related deaths were added. Officials noted 42 of the deaths occurred in the span of 10 days.

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As of 8 p.m. on Thursday, there are more than 11.4 million people fully immunized with two doses, which is 88.3 per cent of the aged 12 and older population. First dose coverage stands at 91 per cent. Third dose immunization is at 34.1 per cent.

For young children aged five to 11, first dose coverage stands at 45.2 per cent with 2.6 per cent who are now fully vaccinated.

The province administered 194,093 doses in the last day. There are more than 4.4 million Ontarians who have received a booster shot.

Meanwhile, 707,732 Ontario residents were reported to have recovered from COVID-19, which is around 83 per cent of known cases. Resolved cases increased by 11,946 from the previous day.

Active cases in Ontario now stand at 135,223 — up from last week when it was at 98,822. At the peak of the second wave in January, active cases hit just above 30,000. In the third wave peak in April, active cases topped 43,000.

The seven-day average has now reached 13,844 as daily case counts due to Omicron continue to hover around unprecedented highs. This is up from 11,348 a week ago.

The government said 61,137 tests were processed in the previous 24 hours. There are 100,224 tests currently under investigation.

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Test positivity hit 26.6 per cent meaning more than 1 in 4 tests are coming back positive for COVID. Last week, test positivity was at 29.8 per cent.

However, Ontario officials have recently changed testing eligibility for those seeking to get a PCR test to detect COVID-19 to only the most high-risk populations such as health care, long-term care, those who live and work in congregate settings, etc.

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

  • 419,974 people are male — an increase of 4,945 cases.
  • 429,988 people are female — an increase of 6,897 cases.
  • 25,081 people are under the age of four — an increase of 257 cases.
  • 53,318 people are 5 to 11 — an increase of 484 cases.
  • 77,674 people are 12 to 19 — an increase of 874 cases.
  • 328,864 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 4,837 cases.
  • 235,571 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 3,511 cases.
  • 101,513 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 1,380 cases.
  • 31,059 people are 80 and over — an increase of 547 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: Eight (one death was removed)
  • Deaths reported in ages 20 to 39: 116 (+1)
  • Deaths reported in ages 40 to 59: 746 (+3)
  • Deaths reported in ages 60 to 79:  3,410 (+21)
  • Deaths reported in ages 80 and older: 5,994 (+19)
  • 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 3,851 deaths reported among residents and patients in long-term care homes across Ontario, which is an increase of 7 deaths since the previous day. Thirteen virus-related deaths in total have been reported among staff.

There are 208 current outbreaks in homes, which is up by 22 from the previous day.

The ministry also indicated there are currently 1,053 active cases among long-term care residents and 1,928 active cases among staff — up by 183 and up by 403, respectively, in the last day.

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