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Ontario reports two new COVID-19 deaths as hospitalizations tick up

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Ontario health officials are reporting two new COVID-19-related deaths Monday.

Both of the deaths occurred in the last month, bringing the total number of individuals who have died with the virus to 13,072.

Officials also reported 1,122 people in hospital with COVID-19 Monday, including 159 patients in intensive care, however these are likely an undercount as not all hospitals report data on weekends. Monday's hospitalizations mark an increase of eight patients over Sunday.

The Ministry of Health did not provide vaccination status data or a breakdown of admissions for Monday's hospitalizations, citing technical difficulties.

UHN infectious diseases specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24 Monday there are variety of factors contributing to the rapid decline in hospital burden caused by the Omicron subvariant BA.2.

“There’s lots of factors pushing those numbers lower,” he said. “There’s seasonal variation to this virus, it’s not everything but it is something. We’re entering a season where we’d expect lower respiratory viral infections. But of course there’s less people in indoor settings," adding that Omicron may just not as virulent as previous strains of the virus, and a large portion of Ontario’s population was infected in the last four to five months.

“There’s so much community level immunity from vaccination and prior infection.”

In the last 24 hours, provincial labs processed 8,132 tests, generating a positivity rate of at least 7.7 per cent.

The province is reporting 1,061 new cases of COVID-19, but health officials have warned that reported case numbers are also a significant underestimation due to testing limitations.

Today's report brings the total number of lab-confirmed cases in Ontario to 1,287,529.

Background

The numbers used in this story are found in the Ontario Ministry of Health's COVID-19 Daily Epidemiologic Summary. The number of cases for any city or region may differ slightly from what is reported by the province.

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