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Ontario reports drop in number of people in hospital with COVID-19, 75 more deaths


Ontario health officials reported a significant drop in the number of people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday.

The province said 2,797 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19. Just the day before, officials said that 2,939 people were in hospital with the disease.

Health officials also reported a drop in the number of patients in intensive care, saying there are currently 541 people with COVID-19 in ICUs across the province. On Wednesday, that number was 555.

The province reported that 56 per cent of the 2,797 people in hospital are primarily there due to COVID-19, while the remaining 44 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the virus.

Eighty-three per cent of patients are in ICU primarily due to COVID-19, while 17 per cent of cases are there primarily for other reasons, but also have the virus.

The province said that 211 of the people in ICU are fully vaccinated, 179 are unvaccinated and 16 are partially vaccinated. The remaining 135 have an unknown vaccination status.

According to data released by the Ontario Science Table on Wednesday, which takes into account population sizes, people who are fully vaccinated with at least two doses are 82.9 per cent less likely to end up in hospital and 91.3 per cent less likely to end up in ICU compared to people who are unvaccinated.

The province also reported that 75 more people have died due to COVID-19.

A spokesperson for Ontario Ministry of Health stated 74 deaths of the deaths reported on Thursday happened over the past 23 days. The remaining 75th death took place over a month ago.

One of the 74 deaths occurred on Feb. 2, 22 of the deaths occurred on Feb. 1, nine of the deaths occurred on Jan. 31, and the remaining 42 deaths occurred previous to Jan. 31.

Officials said there have been a total of 11,651 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The province reported 4,098 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, but health officials have warned that number is an underestimate due to testing limitations and backlogs.

With 28,493 tests processed in the past 24 hours, the Ministry of Health says the province's positivity rate is about 13.2 per cent.

Acknowledging population size, the science table noted on Wednesday that people who are fully vaccinated with at least two doses are 61.3 per cent less likely to contract COVID-19 compared to those who are unvaccinated.

Health officials said they've detected at least 29 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant BA.2 in Ontario.

BA.2 is a descendant of the Omicron variant and it is widely considered stealthier than the original version because particular genetic traits make it somewhat harder to detect. Some scientists have expressed worry that it could also be more contagious.

The province deemed 5,901 more cases of the disease to be resolved as of Thursday, bringing Ontario's number of recovered patients up to 992,616.

Today's report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 1,043,923.

The province reported 286 resident cases and 79 staff cases in long-term care settings across Ontario. It also noted that 18 of the 75 deaths reported on Thursday were long-term care residents.

Officials stated that at least 322 long-term care homes are currently dealing with an outbreak. Top Stories

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