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Several hospitals in Ontario are updating their visitor policies amid a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

As of today, Unity Health Toronto, a hospital network consisting of St. Joseph’s Health Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare, says each inpatient who has a stay fewer than seven days will not be allowed a visitor.

An inpatient who is anticipated to have a hospital stay longer than seven days may identify two designated visitors, with one allowed to visit within a 24-hour period provided they show proof of vaccination and ID.

Unity Health Toronto notes inpatient visits will be a maximum length of three hours, while patients attending outpatient clinic appointments and day surgery or in the emergency department will generally not be allowed visitors.

The University Health Network, another Toronto hospital network, is announcing similar changes, with no visitors allowed for patients in hospital for less than seven days.

The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto also updated its visitor policy today, with inpatients allowed only one fully vaccinated designated visitor each day during regular visiting hours, with some exceptions.

Meanwhile, Ontario is reporting 3,453 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths from the virus.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says 805 of the cases are in people who aren’t vaccinated and 148 people have an unknown vaccination status.

The new numbers are based on 49,285 completed tests.

There were 165 people in intensive care due to COVID-19 including 101 patients on ventilators.

The province says 81 per cent of the population aged five and older has received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 86 per cent has at least one shot.

Premier Doug Ford says more than 206,000 COVID-19 vaccines were administered yesterday as the province ramps up its booster dose campaign to fight the Omicron variant.

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