Ontario COVID news: Province reports 23 new deaths, positivity below 10 percent

Ontario on Thursday reported 23 new net deaths from COVID-19, including one long-term care staff member, as hospitalizations continued to fall and test positivity hit a multi-month low.

The Health Ministry said 20 of the deaths occurred in the last 30 days and three occurred before that.

Three involved residents of the long-term care system and one involved a health worker in a long-term care home.

The province is aware of 11 long-term care workers who have died of COVID-19 in Ontario since the pandemic began.

Public Health Ontario said one of the new deaths involved someone between the ages of 20 and 39.

There have been 102 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the last seven days and 488 in the last 30 days.

Ontario is aware of 13,122 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Dr. Susy Hota, an infection prevention specialist at UHN, said Thursday that all reliable indicators still suggest the outlook is improving in most of the province.

“It seems that things have stabilized a little bit at least and continue to decline in sewage surveillance in most of the province,” he told CP24. “But in the north we are actually seeing rising rates of COVID-19.”

The Ontario COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Board, citing wastewater surveillance data, suggests that viral prevalence is stable or declining in all areas of the province except the north.

In hospitals, the Health Ministry says there were 1,207 COVID-positive patients in hospital on Thursday, up from 1,248 yesterday and 1,451 a week ago.

Of those, 168 were in intensive care, three more than yesterday but seven fewer than a week ago.

Seventy-one patients were breathing with the help of a ventilator, five fewer than yesterday and four fewer than a week ago.

Of the 1,565 cases confirmed by PCR tests on Thursday, the Health Ministry says that 172 involved partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people, 278 involved people with two doses of vaccine, 1,050 involved people with three or four doses of vaccine, and 65 involved people whose vaccination status unknown

Test positivity came in just under double digits, at 9.6 percent based on 15,462 tests, the first time that has happened since February 28, 2022.

Ontario clinics and pharmacies administered 25,175 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

Of these, 938 were first doses, 1,428 were second doses, 2,366 were third doses, and 20,443 were fourth doses.

The numbers used in this story are from the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19. Daily epidemiological summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what the province reports, because local units report figures at different times.

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