Ontario reports 31 COVID-related deaths as expert says province has likely hit peak of 6th wave

Ontario is reporting 1,698 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 31 more deaths linked to the virus Wednesday, as the head of the science table says the province has likely reached the peak of the sixth wave of the pandemic.

Dr. Peter Jüni, the director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, said hospitalizations and infections seen in wastewater data are gradually slowing down.

“I think we’re on the right track,” Jüni told CBC News Network Tuesday. “If it continues to [decrease], the way we are looking right now we should be getting back to normal over the next few weeks.”

But Jüni warned “it’s important not to get ahead of ourselves,” adding that Ontarians should continue to wear masks and limit contacts when possible.

“Right now, it looks as if it indeed could be the peak and perhaps in a week or so we could see a downward trend.”

The province is now seeing an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 new daily virus infections through wastewater data, according to Jüni.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s reported hospitalizations mark a slight dip of one from the day before of 1,699.

Of those hospitalized, 199 patients are in intensive care, down from 202 on Tuesday. Ninety-four of those in ICUs are breathing with the help of ventilators.

Both hospitalizations and ICU admissions are down slightly when compared to the same day last week, when hospitalizations were at 1,734 and ICU admissions were at 211.

According to the province, about 43 per cent of hospital admissions reported Wednesday were directly related to the virus, while 57 per cent were for people who attended a hospital for other reasons and then tested positive.

When it comes to ICU admissions, 65 per cent were directly due to COVID-19.

Limited laboratory testing confirmed an additional 2,488 cases of the virus with 18,320 tests completed the day before. The test positivity rate sits at 14.3 per cent.

The province’s total COVID-linked death toll currently stands at 12,889.

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