Skip to main content

Ontario is able to manage the “little spike” in COVID-19 that the province is seeing right now, Premier Doug Ford said Monday as hospitalizations jumped 30 per cent week over week.

The province reported 857 people in hospital with the virus Monday, compared with 655 last Monday. Not all hospitals report that data from the weekend, so those numbers may be undercounts.

There was also a small increase in the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care – to 168 from 158 a week ago.

When asked about the situation Monday at an unrelated announcement, Ford said hospital capacity has been built up, with 3,100 acute care beds, and the availability of antiviral treatments will leave Ontario better prepared.

“We’re going to continue to be cautious,” the premier said.

“I follow the advice of the chief medical officer. But our hospitals are in good shape right now. We expected a little spike. We said that over the last month. But again, that little spike, we’re being able to manage it.”

Two weeks ago, Ontario ended mask mandates in most public spaces, with the exception of public transit and health-care settings such as hospitals and long-term care homes.

Ontario reported 2,248 new COVID-19 cases Monday, but due to limited access to PCR tests, the chief medical officer of health has said the true daily number is likely 10 times higher than what is reported.

The test positivity rate was up to 19 per cent Monday, the highest it has been since mid-January. Positivity hit a high on Jan. 2 of 34.3 per cent.

In the absence of widespread PCR testing, Ontario has also been monitoring COVID-19 levels in waste water. That signal has been steadily increasing, though not as sharply as it did at the start of the fifth wave, when Omicron took hold in the province.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.