Ontario health officials reported another drop in the number of people with COVID-19 in hospital and intensive care units across Ontario on Wednesday.
The province said 2,059 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19, which is down from the 2,254 reported on Tuesday. The number of people in ICU also fell from 474 to 449.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday morning that the province’s COVID-19 situation is trending in the right direction.
“We are seeing the case counts come down in the hospitals. Thank goodness, I think for all of us. It’s 2,059 people in hospital today, whereas last week, it was over 2,900,” she said. “So we are trending in the right direction. We of course, are working to ensure that this trend continues.”
The province also reported that 66 more people have died due to COVID-19.
A spokesperson for Ontario Ministry of Health confirmed 65 of the deaths reported on Wednesday happened over the past 30 days, while the remaining one death took place over a month ago.
The province said three of the deaths occurred on Feb. 8, nine of the deaths occurred on Feb. 7, 12 of the deaths occurred on Feb. 6, and the remaining 41 deaths occurred previous to that.
Officials said there have been a total 11,944 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The province reported that 56 per cent of the 2,059 people in hospital are primarily there due to COVID-19, while the remaining 44 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have now tested positive for the virus.
Eighty per cent of patients are in ICU primarily due to COVID-19, while 20 per cent of cases are there primarily for other reasons, but also have the virus.
The province said that 179 of the people in ICU are fully vaccinated, 140 are unvaccinated and 11 are partially vaccinated. The remaining 119 have an unknown vaccination status.
According to data released by the Ontario Science Table on Tuesday, which takes into account population sizes, people who are fully vaccinated with at least two doses are 83.5 per cent less likely to end up in hospital and 91.9 per cent less likely to end up in ICU compared to people who are unvaccinated.
The province reported 3,162 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, but health officials have warned that number is an underestimate due to testing limitations and backlogs.
With 22,906 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the province’s positivity rate is about 11.9 per cent.
In the Greater Toronto Area, officials reported 482 new cases in Toronto, 283 new cases in Peel Region, 146 new cases in Durham Region, 143 new cases in York Region and 83 new cases in Halton Region.
Officials reported 244 new cases in Ottawa, 150 new cases in Simcoe-Muskoka, 139 new cases in Hamilton, 128 new cases in Middlesex-London, 123 new cases in Niagara Region and 103 new cases in Windsor-Essex.
All other regions reported fewer than 100 new cases on Wednesday.
The province said that of the 3,162 new cases reported today, 2,173 involve people who are fully vaccinated with at least two doses, 456 involve people who are unvaccinated, 131 involve people who are partially vaccinated and 402 involve people who have an unknown vaccination status.
Acknowledging population size, the science table noted on Tuesday, people who are fully vaccinated with at least two doses are 61.3 per cent less likely to contract COVID-19 compared to those who are unvaccinated.
The province deemed 4,992 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Wednesday, bringing Ontario’s number of recovered patients up to 1,019,277.
Today’s report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 1,061,403.
The province reported 118 resident cases and 45 staff cases in long-term care settings across Ontario. It also noted that 14 of the 66 deaths reported on Wednesday were long-term care residents.
Officials stated that at least 256 long-term care homes are currently dealing with an outbreak.