COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ontario reach two-month high as most indicators now point to a fall resurgence in viral activity
Published Friday, October 7, 2022 10:54AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, October 7, 2022 10:55AM EDT
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached a two-month high, as most public health indicators now point to a fall resurgence of the virus.
The latest data released by the Ministry of Health suggests that there were 1,465 people testing positive for COVID in Ontario hospitals as of Wednesday afternoon, up from 1,265 the previous week and 1,141 on Sept. 22.
It is the highest number of people in hospital with COVID-19 since Aug. 4 and is approaching the peak of the summer wave on July 28 when 1,492 people were hospitalized.
Meanwhile, wastewater surveillance conducted by Public Health Ontario continues to point to a gradual uptick in viral activity levels in most parts of the province.
The rise began showing up in the province-wide data around the second week of September but has only recently been apparent in GTA-specific data.
Epidemiologists and public health experts have long warned of a fall wave and in recent weeks have raised concerns about two new subvariants of Omicron which have made up an increasing share of cases in some European countries but are not yet circulating widely in Ontario.
“We know what is going to happen,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch told CP24.com this week while discussing a likely fall wave. “We were having this conversation in the spring. We knew then that we had to prepare for the fall and winter because there would be a predictable rise in cases so it comes to no one’s surprise that we will see an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the community. If you look at European settings, they're already starting to have an upward tick in hospitalizations.”
The latest data released by the ministry revealed that there were 8,627 new cases of COVID-19 detected through PCR testing over the last seven days, marking the fourth consecutive week in which that number has rose.
Positivity rates also continue to rise. Over the last seven days the average positivity rate on PCR tests was 13.57 per cent, up from 12.42 per cent one week ago.
The number of active outbreaks in the handful of settings with widespread access to PCR testing also appear to be increasing.
According to the latest data, there were 159 active outbreaks in long-term care homes, 144 active outbreaks in retirement homes and 86 active outbreaks in hospitals as of Wednesday.
Those numbers are all up between 13 and 28 per cent week-over-week.
Ontario also added 76 net new deaths to its COVID-19 tally this week. The total death toll since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 now stands at 14,427.