Ontario reports more than 850 COVID-19 hospitalizations for first time in a month

Ontario health officials are reporting another increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations on Saturday.

According to provincial data, there are 855 people being treated in hospital with COVID-19, including 165 patients in intensive care.

This is the first time in about a month that more than 850 COVID-19 hospitalizations were reported in Ontario.

Of the patients in hospital Saturday, at least 46 per cent were admitted for reasons pertaining to the novel coronavirus while the remaining 54 per cent tested positive while being treated for other ailments.

Nearly 69 per cent of patients in the ICU are being treated specifically for COVID-19.

Officials also confirmed an additional nine COVID-19 deaths, bringing the provincial tally to 12,460.

Seven of the deaths reported Saturday occurred over the last month while two more deaths were added to the cumulative tally following a data cleanup.

Two deaths were reported in residents of long-term care.

An additional 3,233 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases were also confirmed on Saturday, although officials warn this is an underestimation due to continued testing restrictions.

A few days ago, the scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said it was “very clear” the province was in the midst of a sixth wave of the pandemic and that there are likely between 30,000 and 35,000 new infections per day.

“When you look at our wastewater, it’s very clear. You can call it whatever you want, you know; whether it’s a resurgence of the Omicron wave we had or a sixth wave, the point is really to understand this is not a BA.2 wave,” Dr. Peter Jüni said at the time.

With just over 16,000 tests processed in the last 24-hour period, the Ministry of Health says the province’s positivity rate now stands at about 17.1 per cent.

In total, there have been 1,169,361 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ontario since the beginning of the pandemic.

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