Ontario logs 3,453 new COVID cases, most vaccinations since mid-July

December 21, 2021
No, vaccine boosters won't stop an Omicron surge. They can buy us time, experts say
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Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, is scheduled to hold a briefing on COVID-19 in the province at 3 p.m. ET. You’ll be able to watch it live in this story.


Ontario reported 3,453 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, while public health units collectively administered their highest number of vaccines on a single day since mid-July.

Of the 206,595 shots given out on Monday, 187,511 were third doses or boosters, according to the Ministry of Health, while 14,189 were first doses.

The provincial government has said it intends to ramp up capacity in the coming weeks to administer between 200,000 and 300,000 booster shots every day, as Ontario faces a surge of Omicron cases.

Today’s case count is up 143 per cent from last Tuesday.

The seven-day average of daily cases has climbed to 3,153, its first time above 3,000 since May 10, during the third wave of the pandemic in the province. Where it stands today is an 125 per cent jump from the same time last week. The seven-day average is currently on pace to double every five days or so.

Positivity rates have also continued to spike. On Tuesday, Public Health Ontario reported a 9.9 per cent positivity rate from 48,096 tests.

Meanwhile, as of Monday, there were 412 people with COVID-19 in hospitals. That’s up from 385 last Tuesday. 

There were 165 patients being treated for COVID-related illnesses in intensive care, compared to 162 at the same time last week. Of those, 105 needed help from a ventilator to breathe.

The province says there are 644 adult ICU beds available if the rise in cases is followed by a wave of critical care admissions.

The Ministry of Health also reported the deaths of 10 more people with the illness, pushing the official toll to 10,123.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, is slated to hold a briefing this afternoon.

The update comes as officials in some regions report health centres can’t keep up with the surge in demand for tests.

Ottawa Public Health has asked residents who have symptoms but can’t access a timely test to assume they are infected and self-isolate.

A similar strain on testing resources was reported in Kingston last week, and other health units have said they are bracing for the same problems.

Meanwhile, the Unity Health hospital network in Toronto says it has made the “difficult decision” to pause non-essential ambulatory care and surgical procedures, with the exception of urgent cases.

“Right now we need to focus all of our efforts, our people and resources on caring for our patients and assuring that we have the capacity to meet the demands of the pandemic,” Tim Rutledge, the network’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

More to come.

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