Ontario reports 8,825 new COVID-19 cases, seven deaths

Health officials in Ontario are reporting 8,825 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, though information on the number of tests performed and the vaccination status of those infected was not released.

Tuesday’s data brings the seven-day average for the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario reported to 8,318.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said there are 491 patients in hospital with COVID-19, up 11 patients from Monday’s report. As well, 187 people are being treated in the ICU, up from 176.

According to data released by Public Health Ontario, seven more deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the last 24 hours.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has seen 715,405 lab-confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, including 10,168 deaths and 634,846 recoveries. 

Information related to testing for COVID-19 in the province and the vaccination status of those diagnosed was not released by the government.

The government has said that more detailed reports including that information will be made available starting Wednesday.

Health experts have said that Ontario’s recently high daily COVID-19 case counts are likely an underestimate due to the spike in demand for PCR tests in the province.

Ontario’s daily COVID-19 case count has hovered between 9,000 and 10,000 in recent days, which one Toronto emergency room doctor believes is due to the province’s testing capacity.

“So that 10,000 number, it’s been stuck for a while at 10,000 because that’s probably the max that our system can handle in positive results,” Dr. Kashif Pirzada explained during an interview with CTV News Channel this morning.

“So it’s probably closer to 100,000 [positive tests] If I had to guess.”

Ontario was expected to announce changes to its official COVID-19 testing guidance Tuesday afternoon as people across the province try to secure a swab.

However, the Ministry of Health said that the announcement had been postponed after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance on shortening the recommended isolation and quarantine period for asymptomatic individuals who test positive for the virus.

The new guidance south of the border means that anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 must isolate for five days, instead of the previously recommended 10. Also, anyone with a booster shot in the States who becomes a close contact of a COVID-19 positive person can skip quarantine.

“The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Ontario are evaluating this guidance against Ontario-specific evidence,” Ministry of Health Spokesperson Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement to CTV News Toronto.

The Ministry of Health said that Dr. Moore will provide an update on the guidance later this week.

Backstory:

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.

Health experts have said the number of COVID-19 infections identified in fully vaccinated individuals will naturally increase as more people get both of their shots. 

View original article here Source