Ontario reports week-over-week uptick in COVID hospitalizations for first time since May

Ontario is reporting a week-over week uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time since May.

The latest data from the Ministry of Health suggests that there are now 585 people in Ontario hospitals testing positive for the virus, up from 486 at this time last week.

It is just one of several public health indicators that appear to be headed in the wrong direction after a sustained decline in viral activity through most of the spring.

The positivity rate on PCR tests was also up over the last week, with the seven-day average going from 7.64 on June 23 to 9.82 as of today.

Meanwhile, the seven-day average for new cases detected through PCR testing was up 34 per cent week-over-week to 916.

Experts, however, caution that the true number of infections is likely up to 10 times the PCR number due to limited eligibility for testing.

Speaking with CP24.com on Thursday, the head of Ontario’s science table Dr. Fahad Razak said that we are starting to see “see some signals that there is a rise in transmission” taking place but he said it is “not a strong signal, yet.”

The new data release on Thursday comes as the more infectious BA.5 subvariant continues to make up an increasingly large proportion of cases, with some suggesting it will account for nearly 70 per cent of cases by Canada Day.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) is also calling for a wider rollout of booster doses in the fall in anticipation of another wave, something that Premier Doug Ford seemed to indicate a willingness to consider during a press conference on Thursday.

“We were talking to (Chief Medical Officer of Health) Dr. Moore about that yesterday and you will hear further about our rollout in the next little while,” he said.

There were another 43 deaths added to the province’s COVID-19 tally over the last week. The total now stands at 13,421.

Intensive care occupancy for COVID patients remains mostly unchanged from one week ago, declining by one to 95.


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