Ontario COVID news: 14 deaths, 1,451 hospitalizations

Ontario reported 14 more COVID-19 deaths on Thursday as both virus-related hospitalizations and ICU occupancy saw a week-over-week decline.

The Ministry of Health says the deaths occurred in the past month, raising the province’s death toll to 13,034.

Five of the latest deaths were among long-term care home residents.

There are currently 1,451 patients with the virus in Ontario hospitals, a notable decline from 1,528 a day ago and from 1,676 a week ago.

The ministry says 41 per cent of hospital patients were admitted for the virus and 59 per cent were admitted for other reasons but only tested positive for the virus.

Of those in hospital, 175 are in intensive care, down one from yesterday and down 30 from this time a week ago.

Sixty-two per cent of ICU patients were admitted for COVID-19-related reasons, while 38 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for the virus.

Ontario labs processed more than 16,300 tests in the past 24 hours, producing a positivity rate of 10.7 per cent, down from 13 per cent a week ago, according to the ministry.

Today’s positivity rate is the lowest observed since early March.

The province confirmed an additional 2,160 infections today, but health officials say that daily case counts are an underestimate due to limited access to PCR testing.

Among the latest cases, 1,396 of the individuals who have received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, 403 have received two doses, 228 are partially or not vaccinated and 133 have an unknown vaccination status.

Meanwhile, the province administered 29,173 vaccine doses yesterday.

Some businesses are starting to lift vaccine mandates as we head into the summer and infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says this is understandable as two vaccine doses aren’t as effective against the dominant Omicron variant as they were against previous variants.

“We know that two doses of a vaccine is still really good, (but) it’s not as good as three doses of a vaccine. We just don’t see the same degree of reduction in transmission if someone’s infected or the same degree of reduction in preventing infection with two doses now, versus with prior variants,” he told CP24 on Thursday.

To date, 90 per cent of Ontarians aged five years and older have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, 86 per cent have received two doses and 52 per cent have received three doses.

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic 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.

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