Ontario reported an additional 3,871 cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, as total deaths in the province topped 8,000 and admissions to intensive care reached another pandemic high.
The 41 deaths in today’s provincial update — the most recorded on a single day since February 19 — push Ontario’s official toll to 8,029. The seven-day average of daily deaths sits at about 28.6, slightly below the current third-wave peak.
As of Wednesday, there were 884 patients with COVID-related critical illnesses being treated in intensive care units. Of those, 620 required a ventilator to breathe.
Ontario’s health-care system continues to be nearly overwhelmed by the relentless influx of new COVID-19 patients to hospitals. Critical Care Services Ontario, a government agency that compiles a daily tally of hospitalizations, says that 53 more adults were admitted to ICUs yesterday alone, as well as one infant with a COVID-related illness.
This week the Ministry of Health issued an emergency order to allow hospitals to transfer patients who have largely recovered to long-term care or retirement homes, and without their consent if the circumstances necessitate it. Earlier this month, hospitals throughout Ontario were ordered to halt non-emergency procedures, while critical units at several major pediatric hospitals opened to younger adults with COVID-19 in need of treatment.
The new cases today include:
- 1,172 in Toronto
- 901 in Peel Region
- 392 in York Region
- 292 in Durham Region
- 147 in Ottawa
- 129 in Halton Region
- 117 in Simcoe Muskoka
- 104 in Niagara Region
- 103 in Hamilton
- 101 in Middlesex-London
The seven-day average of daily cases rose to 3,810 after a week of declines.
Another 4,245 cases were marked resolved, meaning there are about 38,438 confirmed, active infections provincewide.
Labs completed 56,939 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and Public Health Ontario reported a positivity rate of 7.6 per cent. The seven-day average of test positivity is about 8.5 per cent.
An updated analysis by Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table shows that the provincewide R value, a measure of how many people on average a single case will go on to infect with the coronavirus, recently fell below one. An R value less than one suggests case growth is slowing rather than accelerating.
The table called it an “early, early sign” that Ontario appears to be “heading in the right direction” when it comes to transmission of the virus.
Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the science table, will present the group’s latest forecasts for COVID-19 in the province at a news conference this afternoon.
Meanwhile, public health units collectively administered another 120,567 doses of vaccines yesterday.
About 29 per cent of Ontario’s population has received at least one dose, with that number rising to just under 38 per cent for those aged 16 and older.
The province has used 5,027,770, or about 89 per cent, of the 5,637,955 doses it has received to date. Officials expect roughly one million or so more doses of vaccines to arrive in Ontario over the next week.
Overnight in Toronto, thousands of people in a hot spot postal code in Scarborough began lining up overnight for a chance to get one of 1,500 available appointments at a pop-up vaccine clinic.