More restrictions on the way to try to curb COVID-19

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Premier Doug Ford, seen here in Feb. 2021, announcing restrictions to curb COVID-19 then, is expected to announce more restrictions this morning at 11 am.

Lambton Public health is reporting another 249 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as the province gets ready to announce new restrictions in the hopes of curbing illness before Ontario’s hospital system is overwhelmed.

Lambton Public Health says there are now 1,250 people ill with COVID-19 in the community and seven outbreaks including one at Rosewood Retirement Residents in Sarnia where both staff and residents are ill. There have been 594 people test positive for COVID-19 in the last three days in the county.

That mirrors what is going on in the rest of the province. Public Health Ontario says there are 13,578 new cases of COVID-19 reported today. Since the province has changed the testing guidelines so that only health care workers and those most vulnerable to the virus get and report PCR tests confirming the virus, it is likely an under estimation of just how many people are ill in the province.

Omicron – the variant fueling this wave of illness – is highly contagious, leading to a lot of case, however there are not as many people getting seriously ill. Public health officials are concerned as Omicron spreads, hospitals will be overwhelmed anyway because so many people are ill.

Today, there are 1,232 people in hospital with COVID-19 – 248 are in the intensive care unit – up 20 from yesterday.

Bluewater Health is reporting 92 per cent of intensive care unit beds in-use, and 62 per cent of those are people with COVID pneumonia. Of the COVID patients in ICU, 87 per cent are unvaccinated.

At 11 am this morning, Premier Doug Ford, the health minister, education minister and finance minister along with the province’s top health officials will be making an announcement. Cabinet met yesterday to discuss more restrictions to try to curb the growth of the virus.