Toronto reports 1,035 COVID-19 hospitalizations in another record-setting day

Toronto reported 1,035 COVID-19 patients in hospital and 203 in intensive care units Thursday, topping records set only the day before. 

The city also saw 1,243 new cases and six more deaths, bringing the total death toll to 2,976, according to public health data. 

The city has now administered close to 977,900 vaccine doses and plans to inoculate a further 8,000 residents at its clinics. Mobile and pop-up clinics across Toronto will also be vaccinating people. 

Toronto pharmacist Kyro Maseh told CBC News that demand is “through the roof” for the AstraZeneca vaccine since the province lowered the minimum age limit to 40 from 55. 

However, experts have warned vaccinations alone won’t get the city out of the third wave of the pandemic.

On Thursday, the province reported more than 800 patients are now getting ICU care. A growing number of people who get seriously sick in the city are also being transported to hospitals in less hard-hit areas.

“The amount of deaths we could possibly see … if we have hundreds of patients. I don’t know. It honestly keeps me awake at night,” ICU nurse Nikki Skillen told White Coat Black Art‘s Dr. Brian Goldman. “This is very, very scary and we’ve got to get a handle on it.”

Police stepping up enforcement for gatherings

Toronto police is now dedicating teams to all 16 divisions to respond to large indoor and outdoor gatherings, it said in a statement. Officers will fan out across the city starting Thursday at 5 p.m. to enforce the province’s stay-at-home order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. 

This does not mean there’s a change to police powers and officers will not be doing random checks or stops of people or cars, the service said. People aren’t required to explain why they’re outside.

However, police will issue tickets to people and business that appear to be breaking the rules. 

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