Premier Doug Ford says Ontario prepared to handle an increase in COVID cases, hospitalizations

OTTAWA — Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province is prepared for an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, but isn’t saying yet if he’ll reintroduce any public health measures to respond to it.

The province reported 667 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, the second day in a row that number has increased.

Ontario is also reporting 2,761 new cases of COVID-19, but the province’s top doctor has said the actual number is likely 10 times higher than the daily log, since access to PCR testing is restricted.

Another indicator public health experts are using to track COVID-19 activity is wastewater data, and that suggests cases have been on the rise since early-to-mid-March.

Read more: TDSB chair expresses concerns about effects of COVID-related isolation on kindergarten students

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Health Minister Christine Elliott says that’s not surprising because the chief medical officer of health predicted that activity would increase as restrictions were loosened.

Ford says Ontario is well-positioned to deal with increasing cases because of a robust hospital capacity, the availability of antiviral treatments, and the province’s high vaccination rate.

Fifteen more COVID-19 deaths were reported Friday.

Almost 90 per cent of residents aged five and older have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 86.4 per cent have at least two.

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COVID-19: Ford says he doesn’t think Ontario removed mask mandate too quickly

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