Ontario on Thursday reported 23 new COVID-19 deaths, including a long-term care worker, as hospital admissions continued to fall and test positivity hit a multi-month low.

The health ministry said 20 of the deaths occurred in the last 30 days and three before that.

Three residents involved in the long-term care system and one involved a nurse at a nursing home.

The province is aware of 11 long-term care workers who have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in Ontario.

102 COVID-19 deaths have been confirmed in the past seven days and 488 in the past 30 days.

Ontario has had 13,122 known COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

UHN Infection Prevention Specialist, Dr. Susy Hota said on Thursday that all reliable indicators still point to the picture improving in most parts of the province.

“It appears that things have stabilized at least somewhat and wastewater monitoring continues to decline in most parts of the province,” she told CP24. “But in the north we are actually seeing rising rates of COVID-19.”

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, citing sewage surveillance data, notes that virus prevalence is stable or falling in all areas of the province except the north.

In hospitals, the Health Ministry said there were 1,207 COVID-positive patients in hospital as of Thursday, up from 1,248 yesterday and 1,451 a week ago.

Of those, 168 were in intensive care, three more than yesterday but seven fewer than a week ago.

Seventy-one patients were breathing on a ventilator, five fewer than yesterday and four fewer than a week ago.

Of the 1,565 cases confirmed by PCR tests on Thursday, 172 were partially vaccinated or unvaccinated, 278 people with two doses of vaccine, 1,050 people with three or four doses of vaccine and 65 people whose vaccination status was unknown, according to the health ministry .

Test positivity was just under double digits at 9.6 percent based on 15,462 tests, the first time since February 28, 2022.

Clinics and pharmacies in Ontario on Wednesday administered 25,175 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Of these, 938 were first doses, 1,428 were second doses, 2,366 were third doses, and 20,443 were fourth doses.

The numbers used in this story can be found in the Ontario Department of Health’s COVID-19 Daily Epidemiological Summary. The number of cases for each city or region may differ slightly from the provincial figures because local units report numbers at different times.

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