Ontario COVID-19 News: Over 1,680 hospitalizations, including 212 in intensive care

Ontario reported a daily increase in hospitalizations and a slight drop in the number of intensive care patients on Saturday, as Ontario’s top doctor said hospitalizations are expected to peak in about a week.

There are currently 1,684 patients with the virus in Ontario hospitals, up from 1,591 yesterday and a notable increase from 1,130 a week ago.

Forty-six percent of current patients were admitted to hospital for reasons related to COVID-19 and 54 percent were admitted for other reasons but later tested positive for the virus.

Of those in hospital right now, 212 are in intensive care, down two from yesterday but up 27 from a week ago.

The Department of Health says 61% of intensive care patients were admitted for the virus and 39% were admitted for other reasons but tested positive.

Eighty-one intensive care patients breathe using a ventilator.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Kieran Moore told CTV News Channel yesterday that hospitalizations are expected to peak next week amid the sixth wave of the pandemic.

“We had a major sewage signal last week, it’s just starting to decline. We expect a little ripple from the Easter holiday, the Passover holiday, the long weekend that people have had. And then the last element is the impact on intensive care units. We expect all of this major impact to occur within the next seven to 10 days and then slowly and surely the risk will decrease towards the end of May,” he said.

Health officials also reported 23 additional deaths today, which occurred in the past month. Four of those deaths were residents of long-term care homes.

The Department of Health says one death was removed from the province’s running total today due to data cleaning, bringing the death toll to 12,728.

Ontario labs processed more than 20,000 tests yesterday, producing a positivity rate of 17.3%, up from 18.5% a week ago, according to the ministry.

The province also confirmed another 3,820 infections on Saturday, but the ministry says the number of cases could be higher due to a catch-up in data.

Health officials have also maintained throughout this wave that the daily number of cases is undercounted due to the limited number of free PCR tests.

Of the latest cases, 2,420 have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 716 have received two doses, 463 are not fully vaccinated and 221 have an unknown vaccination status.

On Friday, the province confirmed it was extending mask mandates in certain high-risk settings for at least a month and a half.

The mandates were due to be lifted on April 27, but will now remain in place until at least June 11. Higher-risk indoor environments include hospitals, long-term care homes, and public transportation.

Meanwhile, the province administered 35,549 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine yesterday.

To date, 90% of Ontarians aged five and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 86% have received two doses and 51% have received three doses.

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 a city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, as local units report numbers at different times.

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