Ontario Expects COVID-19 Number to Climb

COVID-19 Update

Thunder Bay – COVID-19 Update – Ontario’s COVID-19 cases topped 9,000 on Friday, the largest single day increase since the pandemic started.

Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for the Minister of Health states, “The day after Quebec reported over 9,000 cases in a single day, Ontario has done the same.

“Due to the highly-transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, it was expected that case numbers would increase in the winter months. We expect they will continue to increase over the coming days and weeks, as other jurisdictions are seeing similar case rate increases per capita.

“While the province’s ICUs continue to remain stable, we expect the number of admissions to rise in the coming weeks as Omicron spreads, particularly among the unvaccinated. To date, the effectiveness of vaccines has meant that despite a rapid increase in cases, we have not seen a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions. Investments in Ontario’s hospital capacity have resulted in 600 ICU beds being immediately available with nearly 500 more ICU beds available for surge capacity if required. Ontario is ready for an increase in hospital and ICU admissions as we accelerate the booster rollout.

Vaccines remain the best protection against Omicron, and Ontario continues to urgently ramp up its capacity to administer COVID-19 vaccines, with over 253,000 doses administered Wednesday. As the province continues to administer booster doses to all Ontarians 18 and older over the coming days and weeks, the province has put in place additional public health and workplace safety measures, such as capacity and social gathering limits, that will help to curb transmission and continue to safeguard Ontario’s hospital and ICU capacity.

The coming days and weeks will require ongoing vigilance. This holiday season, please celebrate safely, get vaccinated and follow the public health measures that we know work and have protected us over the last 20 months. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to review the data and evidence and our government will act as necessary to protect our health care system and the health and safety of Ontarians.”

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