Ontario is reporting 1,366 people in hospital with COVID-19 Tuesday, a day after the province’s top doctor said there are no plans to reinstate the mask mandates lifted last month.
Today’s hospitalizations mark a significant increase from Monday’s 1,090 and are also up from 1,091 at this time last week.
Of that number, 190 patients are in intensive care, up from 184 a day earlier and 173 a week ago. Eighty-two patients are on ventilators due to the virus.
The province reported another 2,300 COVID-19 cases through limited PCR testing, with 14,183 tests completed the day before.
The test positivity rate sits at 18.7, up from Monday’s 17.6 per cent.
Wastewater surveillance suggests cases have been on the rise since mid to late March.
The scientific director of Ontario’s panel of COVID-19 advisers, Dr. Peter Jüni, said last week the latest wastewater data suggests daily case counts for the virus are hovering around 100,000 to 120,000.
The province also reported four more deaths linked to the virus, pushing Ontario’s total death toll to 12,570.
6th wave peak to likely see up to 600 ICU patients
In his first news conference in more than a month, the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, said Monday that Ontario will not be reinstating the mask mandates lifted in March despite a sixth wave of COVID-19 that won’t peak for several more weeks.
Moore said it is clear Ontario is in a sixth wave of the pandemic driven by the BA.2 variant with public health indicators that have been worsening recently, the percentage of tests that are positive, the number of hospitalizations and COVID-19 activity in wastewater surveillance.
He said the peak of the wave may see up to 600 patients in ICU, but the province’s health bureaucracy has assured him hospitals have capacity to care for those people.
Moore also announced expanded eligibility for COVID-19 PCR testing and antiviral treatments.
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