More than 500 Ontarians now in ICU as Omicron wave continues, 3,448 in hospital

More than 500 Ontarians now in ICU as Omicron wave continues, 3,448 in hospital-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
As of Wednesday, there are ​505​ people with COVID-19 in ICUs. That’s a jump from 477 patients the day before and up from 288 one week ago. (Evan Mitsui)

Ontario reported a new high of 3,448 patients in hospital with COVID-19 on Wednesday, a jump of over a thousand from the same day last week when there were 2,081 people hospitalized with the virus. 

Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, 54 per cent were admitted to hospital seeking treatment for COVID-19, while 45 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the illness, according to data by the Ministry of Health. That data does not list a breakdown for previous waves of the virus for comparison.

​As of Wednesday, there are ​505​ people with COVID-19 in ICUs. That’s an increase from 477 patients the day before and up from 288 one week ago.

Approximately 83 per cent were admitted to the ICU seeking treatment for COVID-19 and 17 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the illness, according to the dataset.

The seven-day rolling average of ICU admissions linked to COVID-19 now sits at 411.

Ontario reported at least 9,783 new cases of the virus Wednesday.

As the province recently changed its guidelines to significantly limit who qualifies for a PCR test, the case total for today is likely a drastic undercount of the real situation. Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table estimates that roughly one in five cases are currently being confirmed by the province’s testing regime.

For the 56,420 tests that were completed, Public Health Ontario reported a positivity rate of 20.3 per cent.

The health ministry also recorded the deaths of 46 more people with COVID-19, pushing Ontario’s official toll to 10,445.

In a statement, a ministry spokesperson said that the 46 deaths occurred “over the span of 12 days” and were included in Wednesday’s figures due a data catch-up by the province.

Spokesperson Alexandra Hilkene said the province is looking into updating its reporting to distinguish between COVID-19 related deaths.

“Due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, we are evaluating whether there is a need to update reporting to distinguish between causal and incidental deaths related to COVID-19,” Hilkene said in an email on Wednesday.

“For example, we have heard anecdotal evidence of a small number of individuals receiving palliative care in congregate care settings who regrettably passed with COVID but not necessarily because of the virus.”

At least 9,783 COVID-19 cases logged in Ontario

The cases confirmed through the limited testing available include:

  • 1,675 in Toronto
  • 1,060 in Peel Region
  • 964 in York Region
  • 819 in Durham Region
  • 721 in Hamilton
  • 588 in Ottawa
  • 471 in Waterloo Region
  • 434 in Halton Region
  • 392 in Windsor-Essex
  • 349 in Simcoe Muskoka
  • 307 in Niagara Region
  • 302 in Middlesex-London
  • 147 in Brant County
  • 146 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
  • 134 in Sudbury
  • 123 in Thunder Bay
  • 117 in Southwestern
  • 115 in Eastern Ontario health unit
  • 106 in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington
  • 100 in Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge
  • 100 in Hastings Prince Edward

Meanwhile, public health units collectively administered another 56,420 doses of vaccines on Tuesday.

Roughly 82 per cent of Ontarians aged five and older have now received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 88 per cent have at least one dose, according to provincial data.

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