Ontario COVID news: ICU occupancy lowest in six months

Ontario health officials report the province’s lowest COVID-19 intensive care occupancy in six months as hospitalizations related to the disease continue to decline.

Health officials said Saturday that 144 people in the ICU have tested positive for COVID-19. The last time the province recorded an ICU count this low was on November 28 when Ontario reported 135 people in the ICU.

The province registered 865 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those hospitalized, 40 percent seek care due to COVID-19, while the remaining patients were admitted to hospital for unrelated reasons and have tested positive for the virus.

In intensive care, 65 percent of patients were admitted for COVID-19.

Authorities also confirmed 13 additional virus-related deaths. Twelve of the deaths occurred in the last 30 days, while one occurred more than a month ago and was added to the running tally.

Three of those deaths were among long-term care residents.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 1,144 new cases of COVID-19, bringing Ontario’s total since March 2020 to 1,301,018. But health officials cautioned that the number is an underestimate due to restricted testing.

With 11,297 tests processed in the last 24 hours, Ontario reports a test positivity rate of 8.5 percent.

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