The number of COVID-19 patients in area hospitals continues to decline but that has not relieved the pressure on hospitals, according to the region’s top doctor.
According to Friday’s dashboard update, there are 75 patients in the three hospitals in Waterloo Region, including 20 who are in need of intensive care.
Three weeks ago, on Jan. 21, there were 145 people in hospitals, with 27 needing intensive care.
That said, the hospitals now have to deal with the backlog of people in need of surgery or procedures created by the many waves of COVID-19.
“Our health-care system continues to be under great pressure due to the number of patients hospitalized in the ICU with COVID-19 and the need to ramp up delayed surgeries and procedures soon as possible,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang said during Friday’s media update.
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And we may not be in the clear yet as she said things seemed to have plateaued in the area according to wastewater data.
In addition, Waterloo Public Health reported 94 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, bringing the current case total to 39,512.
This causes the rolling seven-day-average number of new cases to climb to 93.9 from 93.7, the first time in weeks it has gone up, although very incrementally.
The number of active cases dropped once again, and now sits at 1039, down from 1,427 a week earlier.
And for the second straight day, no new COVID-19-related deaths were reported, leaving the death toll in the area at 381 including 22 victims so far in February.
The number of active outbreaks in high-risk areas continues to fall as well, as 40 remain in the area including 19 in long-term-care or retirement homes, 11 in hospitals and 10 in congregate settings.
The last five new COVID-19 outbreaks have been reported at the three hospitals in the area.
Elsewhere, Ontario reported 1,829 people in hospital with COVID on Friday, with 435 in intensive care units as figures continue to trend downwards.
Hospitalizations were down by 68 and there were 10 fewer patients in ICUs since the previous day. Last Friday, there were 2,634 hospitalizations with 517 in ICU.
Meanwhile, Ontario also reported 2,907 new lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, though that is an underestimate of the true widespread transmission of the virus due to recent testing restrictions. The provincial case total now stands at 1,067,511.
The death toll in the province has risen to 12,040 — surpassing the 12,000 mark — as 52 more virus-related deaths were added. The province said 50 deaths were from the past month while two deaths were from more than a month ago.
— with files from Global News’ Gabby Rodrigues
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