Ontario reported 23 net new COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, including one long-term care staff member, as hospitalizations continued to fall and test positivity hit a multi-month low.
The Ministry of Health said 20 of the deaths occurred in the past 30 days and three occurred prior to that.
Three involved residents of the long-term care system and another involved a healthcare worker at a long-term care home.
The province is aware of 11 long-term care health workers who have died of COVID-19 in Ontario since the pandemic began.
Public Health Ontario said one of the new deaths involved someone between the ages of 20 and 39.
There have been 102 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in the past seven days and 488 in the past 30 days.
Ontario is aware of 13,122 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.
UHN infection prevention specialist Dr. Susy Hota said Thursday all reliable indicators still suggest the picture is improving in most of the province.
“It appears that things have stabilized somewhat at least and continuing to decrease in wastewater surveillance in most parts of the province,” she told CP24. “But in the North we are actually seeing increasing rates of COVID-19.”
The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, citing wastewater surveillance data, suggests viral prevalence is stable or declining in all areas of the province except for the north.
In hospitals, the Ministry of Health says there were 1,207 COVID-positive patients in hospital on Thursday, down from 1,248 yesterday and 1,451 one week ago.
Of those, 168 were in intensive care, up three from yesterday but down seven from one week ago.
Seventy-one patients were breathing with the help of a ventilator, down five from yesterday and four from one week ago.
Of the 1,565 cases confirmed through PCR testing on Thursday, the Ministry of Health says 172 involved partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people, 278 involved people with two doses of vaccine, 1,050 involved people with three or four doses of vaccine and 65 involved people whose vaccination status was not known.
Test positivity came in just under double digits, at 9.6 per cent based on 15,462 tests, the first time that has occurred since Feb. 28, 2022.
Ontario clinics and pharmacies administered 25,175 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Wednesday.
Of those, 938 were first doses, 1,428 were second doses, 2,366 were third doses and 20,443 were fourth doses.
The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiological Summary, The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province, because local units report figures at different times.