Ontario is reporting 4,227 new cases of COVID-19 today across the province, the second highest number of infections recorded on a single day since the start of the pandemic compared to 4,249 on January 8th. However, 450 of those cases were attributed to a data delay.
The seven day average has continued to climb to 3,256 compared to a recent peak of 3,555 on January 11th. Labs completed a total of 42,572 tests for COVID-19 yesterday, reporting a positivity rate of 6.3%, a rate which has continued to trend upwards since the beginning of March.
As of this morning, 1,492 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the province with 552 in ICUs due to COVID related illness, 359 of those on ventilators. The highest numbers since the start of the pandemic. Of the patients reported to be hospitalized, Northern Ontario represents 41 of those patients with 13 in ICU and 7 on ventilators.
According to CBC, Ontario has roughly 2,000 ICU beds with 1,200 to 1,400 of those beds typically filled by emergency patients without COVID-19. Current modelling by Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table projects that the province will see 600 COVID patients in ICUs by mid April, increasing to 800 by the end of the month. Should these projections come true, the province would be facing capacity issues within a few short weeks.
Hospitalized (bar) and ICU cases (line)
In a memo obtained by CBC News sent out to hospitals Thursday night, the Ontario government health agency instructed hospitals across most of the province to cancel all but emergency and life-saving surgeries due to the growing demands of COVID-19 patients. At the start of this month, Ontario was already reporting a backlog of over 245,000 procedures as a result of a halt to non-emergency procedures last year during the first wave of the pandemic.
“Given increasing case counts and widespread community transmission across many parts of the province, we are facing mounting and extreme pressure on our critical care capacity,” says Ontario Health CEO Matthew Anderson in the memo, obtained by CBC News.
“We are instructing hospitals to ramp down all elective surgeries and non-emergent/urgent activities in order to preserve critical care and human resource capacity,” says Anderson. The provincial health agency is also warning hospitals that they may be asked to send staff to harder-hit areas. “We may request available health-care workers/teams to support care in other parts of the system,” says Anderson. “We may be asking you to identify available staff who might be redeployed to sites requiring support.”
COVID-19 Vaccination Status
As of this morning at 10:30 a.m., the province is reporting 105,382 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered yesterday with a total of 2,940,166 doses to date. This represents 73 percent of the 4,031,325 doses the province has received from the federal government. A total of 328,598 people are reported to have been fully vaccinated out of Ontario’s population of 14,745,040 people (April 1, 2020).
The Ontario vaccine task force has stated that the province has the capacity to provide up to 150,000 shots per day. Premier Ford projects that 40% of adults in Ontario will have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the four week stay-at-home order provided the federal government can provide the doses required.
– with files from CBC News