News: Ontario Reports 135 new COVID-19 Infections, 4 More Deaths
Today, Ontario is reporting 135 new COVID-19 infections as case numbers in the province level off.
Today’s total is somewhat higher than Tuesday’s total of 127, but down than the 153 recorded last week.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases seems to have peaked this week, hitting 150 today, down just slightly from 164 last Wednesday.
Four additional virus-related fatalities were reported today.
With 20,750 tests completed in the last 24 hours, the province reports a positive rate of 0.8% today, up from 0.6% one week ago.
The number of COVID-19 patients admitted to critical care units (ICU) in Ontario continues to decline. According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 145 patients with COVID-19 in hospital ICUs, down from 180 last Wednesday.
As of 8 p.m. on Tuesday, 18,479,003 doses of a COVID-19 vaccination had been given throughout the province. An estimated 80% of people in the province have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, with a further 65% having received two doses.
26 of the new cases reported today are in Toronto, 16 in Peel Region, 13 in Durham Region, 12 in Waterloo Region, and 10 in Middlesex-London.
Ontario is now at Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan, and in order to reach the final step, when all remaining public health restrictions are removed, the Ford government has said that it would want to see at least 80% of people 12 and older partly vaccinated and 75% completely vaccinated.
However, Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said on Tuesday that the province’s vaccine targets should be considerably higher owing to the Delta strain.
“The modeling… tells us that if we get about 90% of the eligible people vaccinated, the danger of Delta will be reduced for us,” he added.
“If we keep about 20% of the population unvaccinated, we won’t be able to develop community immunity, and you’ll have breakthrough infections in those who are vaccinated since not all people, particularly the old, fragile, or immune suppressed, will receive complete protection from the vaccine.”
DELTA IS ‘SHIFTING THE GOALPOSTS.’
Dr. Isaac Bogoch, a Toronto-based infectious diseases expert and member of Ontario’s vaccination task group, said the government set the first goals before more transmissible forms of the virus were circulating.
“We know the Delta version is simply more transmissible… of course, it shifts the goalposts,” he told CP24 on Wednesday.
“You don’t have to look far to see what occurs when you start to remove these restrictions.”
Infections have increased in areas of Europe where most public health restrictions have been removed, and the rise in transmission is thought to be attributable, in major part, to the Delta variation.
“We are at stage three. We’re doing very well. But I believe it’s fair to say, let’s take a look, let’s see how we’re doing here before we loosen up any more,” Bogoch added.
“I believe we must proceed with caution. We don’t have to repeat the errors that other nations have made.”
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