COVID news: Ontario reports fewest people in ICU with COVID since December

The number of people being treated in intensive care units for COVID-19 has reached its lowest point since December as the overall burden on the health care system continues to decline after the sixth wave of the pandemic.

The latest data from the Department of Health indicates at least 1,024 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, including 151 in Ontario’s intensive care units.

It is the lowest number of COVID patients in the ICU since December 10.

However, it should be noted that about 10 percent of hospitals do not upload occupancy data to the ministry on weekends.

The total number of hospitalizations from COVID-19 is now down 12 percent from this time last week, while the number of people in ICUs is down 27 percent.

Other public health indicators are also showing steady improvements, weeks after wastewater monitoring data began to point to a decline in overall virus activity.

In the past 24 hours, Ontario labs confirmed 1,564 new cases of COVID-19 through PCR testing, compared to 1,934 in the same period last week and 2,243 the week before (May 1).

Outbreaks in the handful of institutions with widespread access to PCR testing were also slightly lower than week-over-week. There are now 192 active outbreaks in care homes and 126 in retirement homes, compared to 200 and 162 respectively last Sunday.

Similarly, the number of outbreaks in hospitals has fallen from 104 to 89 in the past week.

“We’re in a better place than we were — I’m cautiously optimistic we’ll have a better summer when the weather improves,” Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore told CP24 on Friday.

Seven more dead

Previous projections from Ontario’s Scientific Advisory Board had warned the province would likely see 500 COVID patients in ICU this month, but the number peaked at 219 on April 26 and has gradually declined since then.

Deaths remain high as the most lagging indicators, with the ministry adding a further seven net new deaths to its COVID tally on Sunday.

Since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, a total of 13,070 Ontarians have died as a result of COVID-19.

The numbers used in this story can be found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Daily Epidemiological Summary of COVID-19. The number of cases for each city or region may differ slightly from what the province reports because local units report figures at different times.

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