Ontario reports 10 net new coronavirus deaths, 165 in ICU

Ontario reported 10 net new COVID-19 deaths as patients in intensive care with the virus continued to decline on Thursday.

The Ministry of Health says seven of the latest deaths occurred in the past month and three happened more than a month ago.

Three of the latest deaths were among long-term care home residents.

Since March 2020, the province says there have been a total of 12,366 virus-related deaths.

There are currently 661 patients hospitalized with the virus across Ontario, up from 611 yesterday and from 644 a week ago, according to the ministry.

Of those hospitalized patients, 165 are in ICU, compared to 199 this time a week ago.

The province conducted just over 15,500 tests in the past 24 hours, and 6,404 tests are currently under investigation.

Ontario reported 2,561 lab-confirmed coronavirus cases today, but that is an undercount due to limited testing.

Among the latest cases, 1,408 of the individuals have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 656 have received two doses, 273 are not fully vaccinated and 224 have an unknown vaccination status.

Yesterday, Ontario’s Science Advisory Table Scientific Director Dr. Peter Jüni said wastewater data is indicating that infections are on the rise, just days after the province lifted mask mandates in most indoor settings.

The table said Thursday that the concentration of viral copies of SARS-COV-2 now found in the province’s waste water are doubling every seven days.

Infectious Diseases Specialist Dr. Alon Vaisman says wastewater data is a reliable measure to monitor the virus’ transmissibility but says questions remain about how severe new cases will be.

“Are we going to see a rapid rise in the number of hospitalizations and deaths? And I think it’s very likely we’re going to see a very high rise in the number of individuals getting COVID, likely getting mild or asymptomatic disease, it’s just harder to tell what the impact is going to be on the health-care system this time around,” he told CP24 on Thursday.

To date, 89 per cent of Ontarians aged five years and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 86 per cent received two doses and 51 per cent have received three doses.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.

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