Health officials in Ontario say 1,684 people are in hospital with COVID-19 as another 23 deaths due to the disease were reported in the last 24 hours.

Saturday’s data marks an increase in the number of hospitalizations reported since Friday when there were 1,591 patients in hospital.

It should be noted that not all hospitals report patient data over the weekend.

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Fifty-four per cent of the patients currently receiving care were not admitted due to COVID-19, but have since tested positive. Forty-six per cent were admitted because of COVID-19.

In the ICU, two patients are no longer seeking care, bringing the total number of those in intensive care with COVID-19 down to 212.

Moreover, 66 per cent were admitted to intensive care due to their COVID-19 diagnosis, while 34 per cent were admitted for a different reason but are now testing positive.

As well, 23 deaths due to the disease have been reported since Friday. Health officials say one death was removed from the province’s cumulative death toll of 12,728 due to “data cleaning.”

With 20,004 COVID-19 tests processed in the last 24-hour period, the Ministry of Health says the positivity rate in Ontario is about 17.3 per cent.

At least 3,820 positive cases of COVID-19 were identified through those tests, although that number is an underestimate due to limited access to PCR testing in the province.

Ontario has seen 1,238,060 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. That number also includes 1,191,712 individuals who have recovered.

On Friday, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said he’s cautiously optimistic that the worst of the sixth COVID-19 wave will be over soon as hospitalizations are expected to peak in the coming week.

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