Public Health says one of the 60 deaths reported Wednesday occurred more than a month ago and will be added to the number after the data update.
There are 4,132 hospitalizations, 51 less than the day before. According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, 53% of those patients were admitted to hospital with the coronavirus, with the rest later diagnosed with COVID-19.
The number of intensive care patients rose to 589 (+9). More than 82% of these patients were brought there due to COVID-related complications; the others were diagnosed with the disease later.
There are 5,744 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. However, authorities say this is an underestimate of the true number of infections, given limited access to PCR tests.
End of restrictions?
Prime Minister Doug Ford hinted at lifting the restrictions on Wednesday.
We will make a positive announcement this week.he told reporters, mentioning that they should worry restaurants, gyms and other [secteurs] that are closed.
By imposing measures such as the closure of gyms and restaurant dining rooms earlier this month, the Ford government indicated that these restrictions would be in place until at least January 26.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott explained that the contagion curve would peak this month, according to projections. He added that the rate of increase in hospitalizations was slowing (now doubling every two weeks).
« We begin to see glimmers of hope. »
— a quote from Christine Elliott, Minister of Health
Minister Elliott admits that February will be another difficult month for hospitals.
I’m starting to have more hope.Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said Wednesday.
He cites the reduction in the length of hospitalizations on average (for hospitalizations: 5 days instead of 9 with the Delta variant; for intensive care: 6 to 7 days compared to almost 20 days during previous waves) and the reduction in rate of positive PCR screening tests.
Nearly 34,600 screening tests have been carried out in the last 24 hours. His positivity rate is 22%.
According to Dr. Moore, most of the recent deaths are still related to the Delta variant, which is more virulent than the Omicron variant, which became dominant in Ontario in December.
Risk of going back to school?
Hundreds of thousands of students returned to school Wednesday morning in southern and eastern Ontario for the first time since the Christmas break.
The return to classes was going to take place on Monday as in the rest of the province, but it was delayed due to a snow storm.
Dr. Moore says that schools have not had a major impact on infections in the past, adding that the province reopen schools with as many layers of protection as possible.
Among other things, the province has distributed N95 masks to teachers, equipped classrooms with Hepa air purifiers and distributed rapid screening tests to students, Minister Elliott said.
Currently, 86.6% of youth ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 82.9% two doses. Among children aged 5 to 11 years, only 50.4% had a first dose and 7.5% were fully vaccinated.
Minister Elliott and Dr. Moore on Wednesday reminded Ontario’s young and old to get vaccinated to avoid possible complications and hospitalization if they contract the virus.
Just over 103,100 doses of the vaccine were administered in the province on Tuesday, including nearly 86,000 booster doses.
Since the start of the pandemic, Ontario has recorded 969,437 cases of COVID-19 and 10,726 deaths.
Homes for the elderly
Long-term care facilities report 8 deaths and 253 more infections among residents, in addition to 108 cases among employees.
There are 3 fewer outbreaks in nursing homes.
Currently, 347 nursing homes have an outbreak, or 55.4 percent of nursing homes in the province.
With information provided by CBC News
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