Ontario COVID-19 daily cases were recorded at 3,480 cases Wednesday as the province announced new measures to allow hospitals to transfer patients to long-term care and retirement homes without their consent but only if their condition allows.
The number marks the fourth day in which case numbers are below 4,000 and shows a downward trend of cases for the last 11 days since Ontario recorded 4,370 cases.
There were 24 more deaths attributed to the virus bringing the death toll to date across the province to 7,988.
“This temporary emergency order will provide hospitals with the flexibility to transfer patients whose doctors have determined no longer require hospital care to long-term care or retirement homes without obtaining the consent of the patient or, where the patient is incapable, their substitute decision maker,” the Ministry of Health said Wednesday.
“The amended order can only be used during major surge events where the demand for critical care threatens to overwhelm a hospital and compromise care. Hundreds of individuals in hospital are waiting to be discharged to a long-term care home or another more appropriate care setting and first priority will be given to patients with less complex care needs and those who are able to be moved close to their preferred choice.”
Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health said, the “spread of COVID-19 variants continues to pose a significant threat to our health system’s critical care capacity and the lives of Ontarians.”
“While this is an extremely difficult decision to make, the consequences of not doing so could be devastating if we don’t have the hospital beds we urgently need to care for the growing number of COVID-19 patients. Building on the more than 3,400 beds that have been added to the system since the beginning of the pandemic, our government will continue to take all necessary actions to ensure Ontarians have a safe place to be cared for in our hospitals.”
Transfers will only be made when medical professionals are confident they will not compromise the patient’s medical condition.
Latest statistics showed Wednesday there were 961 new cases in Toronto, 589 in Peel and 290 in York Region.
Ontario said 95 per cent of all cases in the province are now attributed to variants and reported a total of 455,606 cases, of which 408,765 were reported as resolved.
There were 2,281 hospitalizations, down from 2,336 Tuesday, while 877 patients were in intensive care units and 605 patients were on a ventilator.
Hastings and Prince Edward Public Health officials reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 and 84 active cases.
There were 907 total cases, of which 813 are reported as recovered.
There have been nine deaths in the region from COVID-19.