Ontario COVID-19 news: no new deaths, ICU occupancy rebounds from weekend

Ontario reported no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in nearly one month on Monday, as the number of people admitted to the ICU climbed after three days of declines.

The last day the province reported no fatalities was April 4.

Since then, the province has reported 370 COVID-19 deaths.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says that prevalence of the SARS-COV-2 virus in Ontario wastewater has stabilized in all regions except central Ontario west of the GTA.

“Sometimes it’s a little up, sometimes it’s a little down, sometimes it’s plateauing, and of course this is a massive province so it’s different in different areas in the province,” UHN infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch said of the wastewater data, which has shown a daily decline earlier in the sixth wave before increasing again.

Without universal access to free, centrally documented testing, Bogoch said it’s hard to definitively say where the province is in its sixth wave of COVID-19.

“We don’t have widespread community-based testing, so it’s hard for us to know where we are in this wave with some degree of certainty.”

Provincial labs processed 11,849 test specimens in the past 24 hours, generating a positivity rate of 14 per cent.

Positivity has fallen this week to an average of 14.2 per cent, down from an average of 17.5 per cent in the week before.

Across hospitals, the Ministry of Health said 1,423 patients were admitted with COVID-19 on Monday. That is actually down slightly from the 1,455 patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 at this time last week.

Of the patients currently in hospital, 211 were in intensive care, up 24 from Sunday but down seven from one week ago.

At least 10 per cent of hospitals did not report COVID-19-related bed occupancy on Monday, as is the case each week.

Despite the slight decline in hospitalizations and other public health indicators, outbreaks in the handful of settings with access to PCR testing do continue to increase.

On Monday there were 224 active outbreaks in long-term care homes and another 186 in retirement homes. That is up from 195 and 167 at this time last week, respectively. There were also 104 active outbreaks in hospitals, up from 88 one week prior.

Meanwhile, of the 1,275 COVID-19 cases detected through PCR testing in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says 160 involved unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people, 226 involved people with two doses of vaccine, 826 cases involved people with three or more doses of vaccine and the vaccination status of 63 others was not known.

The province says 6,015 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered on Sunday.

Of those, 354 were first doses, 526 were second doses, 1,097 were third doses and 4,038 were fourth 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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