Ontario COVID-19 hospitalizations drop to 4,026 while ICU admissions reach 600

Ontario health officials are reporting a drop in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations on Saturday as ICU admissions linked to the virus climb.

The 4,026 patients currently in hospital represent a decrease over the 4,114 patients reported a day earlier. Meanwhile, ICU admissions rose from 590 to 600.

Of those 4,026 patients, 56 per cent were admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 and 44 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have since tested positive for the virus, according to Health Minister Christine Elliott.

Most of the patients in hospital are fully vaccinated at 2,079, while 783 are unvaccinated, and 194 are partially vaccinated. No vaccination information was provided for the remaining 970 hospitalized patients. 

In the ICU, 81 per cent of patients were admitted for COVID-19 and 19 per cent were admitted for other reasons but tested positive for COVID-19 after their admission.

Data released by the government shows that 227 patients in the ICU are fully vaccinated, 216 are unvaccinated, and 17 are partially vaccinated. The vaccination status of the remaining 140 patients is unknown, according to the government.

Another 6,473 cases of COVID-19 were reported across Ontario since yesterday, though officials have said that number is likely an underestimate due to limited testing availability.

With 36,396 tests processed in the last 24 hours, Ontario’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 15.9 per cent.

The Ministry of Health says that 47 deaths linked to COVID-19 were reported on Saturday, though they say that number only includes deaths that have occurred in the last month.

At least one of the deaths reported today involved a person under the age of 19, although the age of that individual and the public health unit reporting their death was not disclosed.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has seen 990,832 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 10,912 deaths and 908,533 recoveries.

On Thursday, the province announced that public health measures introduced earlier this month aimed at slowing the Omicron-fuelled spread of COVID-19, including the closure of indoor dining and the suspension of operations at gyms, will begin to lift on Jan. 31.

Each step of the province’s three-step plan to gradually lift COVID-19 restrictions will be separated by 21 days in order for the province to monitor public health trends.

WHERE ARE THE NEW COVID-19 CASES?

Most of the cases reported by the province on Saturday were found in Toronto (1,118), Peel Region (820), Ottawa (469), and York Region (452).

Other areas with relatively high COVID-19 case counts reported today include Halton Region (304), Windsor-Essex (303), Durham Region (290), and Waterloo (261).

UPDATE ON COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

According to Elliott, 91.6 per cent of Ontarians over the age 12 have one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 88.9 per cent have two doses and are considered to be fully vaccinated.

Premier Doug Ford said Thursday that the province is not currently considering updating its proof of vaccination requirement, which is currently required to enter non-essential businesses like restaurants and gyms, from two doses to three.

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