Ontario reports province-wide high in the number of acute and ICU admissions

On Thursday, Ontario reported 9,909 new cases of COVID-19 (a minor increase from the 9,783 cases reported Wednesday) and 35 new deaths (an approximate 24% decrease from the 46 deaths reported yesterday).  To date, the province has had 915,940 cumulative cases of COVID-19, with 783,214 resolved cases and  10,480 deaths.

The Ministry of Health is also reporting a province-wide high of combined acute and ICU admissions—3,630 people were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday (up from 2,472 reported one week ago today) and 500 people are in intensive care (an increase from the 162 reported one week ago).

According to Health Minister Christine Elliott, individuals who are fully vaccinated represent 78.1% of Ontario’s total population and account for 181 of Ontario’s 500 ICU admissions. Elliott noted that 18% of ICU patients and 46% of acute care patients admitted to hospitals were admitted for other medical care, but tested positive for COVID-19.

As for the vaccination status of patients who were hospitalized—1,894 were fully vaccinated, 698 were unvaccinated, 179 were partially vaccinated. In regard to ICU patients, 181 were fully vaccinated, 165 were unvaccinated, and 15 were partially vaccinated.

In Ontario, 29,017,284 vaccine doses have been administered, with over 164,000 doses administered Wednesday; 91.2% of Ontarians 12+ have one dose and 88.6% have two doses.

For children aged five to 11, 47.9% have one dose and 4.7% are fully vaccinated.

As for long-term care homes— 275 residents were diagnosed with COVID-19 (an increase from the 235 reported the previous day); 85 health care workers were diagnosed ( a decrease from the 134 cases reported the previous day). Three deaths were reported ( a decrease from the 15 reported the previous day); the cumulative number of deaths among residents at long-term care homes now sits at 4,080.

Meanwhile, some are wondering if the Omicron wave is beginning to peak in parts of Ontario. As it turns out—wastewater surveillance can consistently capture most of the population with COVID-19 given that everyone goes to the washroom. Ottawa’s COVID-19 wastewater surveillance notes that people with COVID-19 shed the causative SARS-CoV-2 virus in their stool (regardless of whether they have symptoms, receive a COVID-19 test, or are diagnosed). So in addition to serving as a valuable confirmatory data source for COVID-19 levels, wastewater can also serve as an early indicator for possible outbreaks.

According to Infectious Diseases physician Dr. Isaac Bogoch, It’s hard to know if Omicron is starting to peak, “as testing is now focused on priority areas.” However, Ottawa’s wastewater surveillance may be showing early signs of levelling off. Boston’s wastewater is also on the way down, he tweeted.

Click here for more info on COVID-19 wastewater surveillance, here for more COVID-19 Ontario news, and here for where you could get rapid COVID-19 tests in Toronto (including a drive-thru option).

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