The number of people with COVID-19 in Ontario's intensive care units increased slightly Thursday, while the Ministry of Health said a "data catch up" resulted in 5,038 new cases being reported.
A statement from the ministry provided no details on the percentage of those new cases that were a direct result of the data cleaning, or a timeframe of when they may have been confirmed.
CBC News has reached out for more information.
As of yesterday, the seven-day average of daily cases in Ontario stood at 2,869, though that figure very likely does not present an accurate snapshot of cases since laboratory testing remains significantly restricted in the province.
The ministry reported there are now 1,626 people with COVID-19 in hospitals and 207 in intensive care, a new high for the ongoing sixth wave of the pandemic.
COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals and ICUs
Roughly 45 per cent of those patients in hospital and 61 per cent of those in ICU were admitted directly due to symptoms of COVID-19.
No intention to reintroduce mask mandate in schools: Elliott
Speaking at a news conference in Waterloo, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that, based on briefings from Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, the government believes the current wave has already crested and hospitalizations will soon begin to decline.
Elliott also reiterated that the government does not intend to reintroduce a mask mandate for schools, despite calls from some administrators to do so.
"Dr. Moore does not believe that we need to have an extended mask mandate in schools," she told reporters.
Her comments were echoed by Education Minister Stephen Lecce at a separate appearance.
"The chief medical officer of health for Ontario has been clear on his advice, and we are adopting his advice," Lecce said.
"Our position is doctors, not administrators, will make decisions about this pandemic," he continued.
Meanwhile, the health ministry also reported the deaths of 17 more people with the illness. The province's death toll stands at 12,678.
Public health units administered another 39,507 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, the majority of which were second booster shots for eligible Ontarians aged 60 and older. More than 87 per cent of Ontarians aged 12 and up have had at least two doses of vaccines.