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Saturday, December 10, 2022

COVID-19 hospitalizations up in Ontario, positivity rate at highest level since early May

Ontario is reporting another week-on-week increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations, amid suggestions that the province has now entered a new wave of pandemics driven by the more infectious BA.5 subvariant.

The latest figures released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday afternoon showed that there are now 712 people testing positive for COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, including 110 individuals who are being treated in intensive care units.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is up about 22 percent last week and 46 percent higher than two weeks ago.

This is the highest number of COVID patients in Ontario hospitals at one time since June 1. It’s also a significant increase in the nearly 200 COVID patients who were taking beds in Ontario hospitals last July.

Meanwhile, a total of 33 net new deaths were added to Ontario’s COVID-19 tally during the past week.

The new numbers come a day after Ontario’s science advisory table announced that the province has entered a new wave of the pandemic.

The Science Table states that there is no evidence to suggest BA.5 “will cause hospitalizations as widespread as previous waves,” adding that any increase is nonetheless a concern “when hospitalizations.” are already dealing with staff shortages and record wait times”.

“For me, masks are part of the solution and this is clearly a time where the importance of using that mask in an indoor setting has increased,” Science Table Head Dr. Fahad Razak told CP24 on Wednesday.

positivity rate spike

The latest data released by the ministry shows that many public health indicators are heading in the wrong direction after improving gradually for months.

The positivity rate on PCR test stood at 13.5 per cent in the last 24 hours, which is the highest since May 6.

The average positivity rate in the last seven days stood at 12.3 per cent, up from 9.8 per cent on June 30 and 7.6 per cent on June 23.

The number of cases detected through PCR testing is also rising, although experts caution that the true number of infections may be higher due to limited eligibility.

On an average, 1,072 new cases were reported every day during the last week, up from 916 during the previous seven-day period.

The science table states that about 80 percent of public health units are experiencing exponential growth, possibly due to a predominance of BA.5, which now accounts for about two-thirds of all cases in Ontario.

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