One of Ontario’s top public health officials warned that the COVID-19 situation in the province is “dire” after another single-day record for coronavirus infections was reported on Wednesday, and hospitalizations and intensive care admissions continue to climb.
Provincial health officials logged 4,736 new cases today, topping the previous record of 4,456 infections confirmed on Sunday.
The rolling seven-day average of new infections now stands at 4,208, up from 3,093 just one week ago.
“Unfortunately, our situation is dire,” said Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “I really wish that I had better news to give you today. These data are alarming and should be of tremendous concern for everyone.”
Yaffe noted that Ontario reported more than 29,000 new cases since last Thursday’s provincial COVID-19 briefing.
“I have been providing updates to Ontarians for over a year now, and at some of the previous press conferences, I referred to the situation as worrisome and even scary. What is truly scary is that when I used those words before our rates and our trends, were nowhere near where we find ourselves today.”
According to the Ministry of Health, there are now 1,932 COVID-19 patients at Ontario hospitals and 659 of those people are in the ICU, reaching new highs not seen in previous waves of the pandemic.
Yaffe said the province will see daily cases remain high “for the next while” and hospitalizations and ICU admissions “will increase even more.”
“While we have a stay-at-home order and stronger public health measures in place, it will take some time before we see the effect of these interventions. But we do know that those measures work.”
Another 29 virus-related deaths were reported in the province today, and the average daily death toll has jumped week-over week, from 14 last Thursday to 21 today.
“How much heartbreak can you continue to have,” Dr. Andrew Boozary, executive director of social medicine at the University Health Network, told CP24 on Thursday.
“We have seen the models and the anticipation of what was going to happen and what kind of hospitalizations and death were in store if we didn’t act and now to see this play out in real life for people, for families, it continues to be devastating.”