Ontario reports 1,684 people in hospital with COVID-19, highest number since mid-February

·3 min read
People wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto on April 12. (Alex Lupul/CBC - image credit)
People wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Toronto on April 12. (Alex Lupul/CBC - image credit)

Ontario reported 1,684 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday amid a sixth wave of the pandemic.

The number is higher than that reported on Friday, when 1,591 people were said to be in hospital with COVID-19. The number is also the highest since Feb. 12, when the province reported 1,704 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Of the patients in hospital, 212 require intensive care and 81 are breathing with the help of a ventilator, according to the Ontario health ministry.

Roughly 46 per cent of people now hospitalized with the virus were admitted to hospital with COVID-19, while 54 per cent were admitted for another reason but have since tested positive. A full 61 per cent of people in ICUs were admitted for COVID-19.

The province reported 3,820 new COVID-19 cases through limited PCR testing on Saturday. Meanwhile, the seven-day average of new cases is 2,927.

The province reported another 23 deaths of people with the illness on Saturday, bringing the total COVID-19 death toll in Ontario to 12,728.

A total of 20,004 tests were completed in the previous day. The test positivity rate is 17.3 per cent on Saturday.

Public health units administered another 35,549 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Friday. The province said 91 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated, meaning they have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

There are 201 COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes, 160 in retirement homes and 90 in hospitals, according to Ontario's "Daily Epidemiological Summary COVID-19 in Ontario: January 15, 2020 to April 22, 2022."

As of Friday, a total of 187 residents and 38 health care workers in long-term care homes are infected with the virus, the province reported. More than 4,400 long-term care home residents have died with COVID-19 in Ontario since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Alex Lupul/CBC
Alex Lupul/CBC

The numbers come after the Ontario government announced on Friday that it is extending its mask mandates in high-risk settings until June 11.

The rule requiring masks in health-care settings, long-term care homes and public transit had been due to expire on April 27, but Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said it would be extended.

Masking, vaccination prevent spread, top doctor says

"To protect our progress in managing this latest wave, I am maintaining masking requirements in specific public settings where individuals who are, or may be, at increased risk of severe outcomes, are in close contact for extended periods of time," Moore said in a statement.

Moore said following masking requirements and keeping up with vaccinations are "the best ways we can prevent transmission and protect our friends, families, and our communities."

Most other pandemic measures, including masking in most public settings, proof-of-vaccination rules and crowd capacity limits, have ended in the province.

Other settings where masks will now be required until June 11 include retirement homes, shelters and other congregate care settings.

Other directives from the chief medical officer around mask requirements for health-care workers and paramedics and long-term care measures were also due to expire on April 27 but the province says those will now remain until June 11 as well.

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