Ontario reported another pandemic record of 3,814 patients in hospital with COVID-19 on Friday, marking the fifth straight day where the number of hospitalizations climbed.
Friday's figure is a jump of over 1,000 from the same day last week when there were 2,472 people hospitalized with the virus.
Of those in hospital with COVID-19, 53 per cent were admitted seeking treatment for the virus, while 47 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the virus, according to data by the Ministry of Health. That data does not list a breakdown for previous waves of the virus for comparison.
As of Friday, there are 527 people with COVID-19 in ICUs. That's a jump from 500 patients the day before and up from 338 one week ago.
There are 288 people on ventilators due to COVID-19, 13 more than the previous day.
Approximately 80 per cent were admitted to the ICU seeking treatment for COVID-19 and 20 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for the illness, according to the dataset.
The seven-day rolling average of ICU admissions linked to COVID-19 now sits at 463.
COVID-19 patients in Ontario hospitals and ICUs
In a news conference Thursday, Ontario's chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said Omicron may peak in the next few weeks but the province is unlikely to see a full-blown reopening until COVID-19 cases plateau and pressures on the health-care system ease.
Moore said the peak in cases is likely to be followed by subsequent increases in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.
Dr. Peter Juni, scientific director of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, says while the province lacks accurate numbers on COVID-19 cases, data on mobility and test positivity are offering some clues on the current trajectory.
He says people's mobility outside of their homes, which is strongly correlated with their number of contacts, has dropped significantly since late last month.
Test positivity has also started to decrease.
Juni said those two elements combined are cause for cautious optimism that the COVID-19 situation in hospitals may start to peak in the next few weeks.
But he noted that hospital occupancy will need to be examined over the next week to see if the disease curve is indeed flattening.
The health ministry also recorded the deaths of 42 more people with COVID-19, pushing Ontario's official toll to 10,522.
In a statement, a ministry spokesperson said that 41 additional deaths had occurred over the last week and were included in Friday's figures due a data catch up.
Meanwhile, public health units collectively administered another 163,036 doses of vaccines yesterday.
Provincial data shows 82 per cent of Ontarians aged five and older have now received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 88 per cent have at least one dose.
Immunocompromised Ontarians can now book 4th dose
Immunocompromised Ontarians can book appointments for a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine starting Friday morning.
Appointments for moderately to severely immunocompromised people will be made available through the provincial vaccine contact centre at 8 a.m.
Moore says the move aims to provide further protection for vulnerable populations.
The province has already started administering fourth doses in long-term care homes, retirement homes and other congregate settings.
Moore also said transplant patients are lagging in getting their third doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, which is considered part of their primary series of shots.
He said only 64 per cent of transplant patients have received a third dose so far.
At least 10,964 COVID-19 cases logged in Ontario
Ontario reported at least 10,964 new cases of the virus Friday.
As the province recently changed its guidelines to significantly limit who qualifies for a PCR test, the case total for today is likely a drastic undercount of the real situation. Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table estimates that roughly one in five cases are currently being confirmed by the province's testing regime.
For the 58,031 tests that were completed, Public Health Ontario reported a positivity rate of 21.8 per cent.
The cases confirmed through the limited testing available include:
1,961 in Toronto
1,561 in Peel Region
1,054 in Durham Region
918 in York Region
633 in Halton Region
613 in Waterloo Region
604 in Hamilton
453 in Ottawa
340 in Niagara Region
329 in Simcoe Muskoka
302 in Windsor-Essex
315 in Middlesex-London
166 in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph
146 in Eastern Ontario health unit
143 in Lambton County
121 in Brant County
107 in Sudbury
114 in Southwestern