Chris Fox, CP24.com Managing Digital Producer
Published Thursday, July 14, 2022 3:54PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 14, 2022 4:17PM EDT
There are now more people in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19 than at any point since late May as a new wave of the pandemic driven by the BA.5 subvariant continues to worsen.
The latest data released by the Ministry of Health on Thursday afternoon reveals that there are now 985 people hospitalized with the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, up more than 38 per cent from this time last week.
The number of those patients requiring care in the ICU is also up week-over-week but not at nearly the same pace, going from 110 to 118.
A number of other public health indicators similarly point to an uptick in viral activity.
The positivity rate on PCR tests over the last seven days was 14.2 per cent, up from 12.3 per cent at this time last week and 9.8 per cent two weeks ago.
The seven-day average of cases detected through PCR testing, meanwhile, was 1,439 compared to 1,072 at this time last week.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore, however, has warned that the true number of daily infections in Ontario is likely “three to four” times the PCR number due to limited testing eligibility. That would mean that Ontario actually saw between 5,000 and 6,000 new cases per day over the last week.
The latest data comes as Ontario widens fourth dose eligibility to include all adults who are at least five months removed from their last shot.
Health Canada also approved Moderna’s vaccine for infants, toddlers and preschoolers on Thursday, making that group eligible for vaccination for the first time.
Speaking with reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, Moore said that he is “not considering recommending to government any further public health measures” at this time,
But he did say that the recent uptick in viral activity should serve as a “call to arms” for Ontarians who are not up to date with their vaccination.
“We went from around 8,000 (doses administered) on average per day to 16,000 people immunized yesterday and I absolutely hope and anticipate that we’ll be seeing those numbers increase day by day in the coming weeks,” he said.
Over the last week Ontario has added 39 net new deaths to its COVID-19 tally, pushing the number up to 13,493.