Ontario logs 4,156 new COVID-19 cases, record day for vaccines
Health units administered 112,817 doses of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday
Ontario reported 4,156 new cases of COVID-19 and the deaths of 28 more people with the illness on Wednesday, while public health units administered a new record-high number of vaccine doses.
The Ministry of Health says that 112,817 shots of vaccines were given out yesterday, topping the previous high of about 108,563 on April 8.
A total of 337,206 people in the province have gotten both doses of a vaccine.
Ontario has now administered 3,422,972, or about 76 per cent, of the 4,506,495 total doses it has received from the federal government. About 400,000 of those total doses arrived only yesterday.
The province's COVID-19 vaccine task force says there is currently capacity to do 150,000 vaccinations per day. Premier Doug Ford has set a target of getting a first dose to 40 per cent of willing adults by the time the ongoing shutdown expires at the end of April.
During a media briefing this week, officials said that a late shipment from Moderna could compromise that target, though it arrived in Ottawa yesterday. Vaccine supply has been a consistent problem for the province. Yesterday, two major Toronto health networks that serve some of the hardest-hit communities in Ontario said they would either ramp down or postpone appointments due to supply strain.
Meanwhile, the new cases reported today include 1,254 in Toronto, 593 in Peel Region, 476 in York Region, 310 in Ottawa, 248 in Durham Region, 192 in Halton Region, 189 in Hamilton, 149 in Niagara Region, 121 in Middlesex-London and 106 in Waterloo Region.
Labs completed 54,211 tests for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and logged a provincewide positivity rate of 8.6 per cent.
The seven-day average of daily cases climbed to 4,003, the first time it has topped 4,000 at any point during the pandemic.
The 28 additional deaths in today's provincial update are the most on a single day during the third wave of the pandemic currently gripping Ontario. The seven-day average of daily deaths is up to 19.3, also a third-wave high. The seven-day average of deaths peaked at more than 60 in mid-January.
According to the Ministry of Health, there are 1,877 people with COVID-19 in hospitals. Of those, 642 are being treated in intensive care units for COVID-related illnesses, and 607 continue to test positive for the virus. A total of 422 patients in critical care are on ventilators.
Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) have both announced they would begin taking transfers of younger adult patients — up to about 40 years old — in an effort to increase intensive care capacity at other hospitals in their respective regions.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province hopes to open up hundreds of additional ICU beds in coming days and weeks, as more hospitals cope with an influx of COVID-19 patients. Medical professionals told CBC News that beds are just one part of the bigger picture — each new bed requires a host of resources, including specialized trained staff that simply aren't available quickly.
With files from The Canadian Press