Ontario regional health units are still reporting 24 hours and more than 50 new deaths from COVID-19, according to The Star’s latest count.
Monday at 11 a.m., health units report a total of 15,824 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including a jump of 52 additional fatal cases at the same time Sunday morning, for a total of 962 deaths.
Despite this, data on the growing number of deaths in homes for the aged in Ontario reveal that the actual toll of the COVID-19 epidemic is much higher than the number of Star.
Indeed, many of the deaths Star is aware of in Ontario health care facilities are not yet included in the star rating or the province’s morning update on the total number of confirmed deaths.
For example, the Toronto Public Health Service has so far reported 274 deaths from COVID-19 in the city. But, according to The Star’s separate count of all public records of an outbreak in Ontario, at least 312 people have died so far, counting only fatal cases in a long-term care home in Toronto. According to the count of the Star, 22 other people died in a retirement home.
The difference between the data on nursing homes and the figures reported by the health units exists due to several delays in the notification. Health units may take days to report complete data on individual cases and deaths to the provincial central reporting system, the Integrated Public Health Information System (ISIS), before updating their sites Web.
In the meantime, long-term care homes may have previously provided more recent but less detailed information to their website or to residents’ families, or self-reported in a separate database maintained by the ministry. Long-term care.
However, since health units generally do not release case-by-case data that indicate when patients reside in a long-term care home, there is no way to reconcile these two very different totals.
The true death toll across the province is therefore impossible to calculate with the available data.
According to the Star’s most recent count, at least 754 people have died in 256 outbreaks in an Ontario retirement or long-term care home.
Health units again experienced slow case growth the day the province reported a large number of completed tests, a record 12,550.
The 477 new cases reported on Sunday morning by health units represent a slight increase of 3.1%.
In percentage terms, daily growth has slowed considerably compared to the rapid increases observed at the end of March. In the second half of last month, the province experienced average daily growth of 20%, a rate that doubled the number of cases in Ontario about every four days. During the first half of April, this rate slowed to an average daily growth of 9.5%, or to double about every eight days. And the days since then have seen an average increase of less than 5% per day, or a doubling of about two weeks.
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Earlier Monday, the province also reported that 945 patients were now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 241 in intensive care, including 191 on ventilators. The province also says that 8,525 patients who tested positive for the coronavirus are now cured of the disease.
Since many health units publish case data before reporting it to the province via iPIS, the star rating is more recent than the data released every morning by the province.
The province says its data is correct at 4 p.m. the day before. The province also warns that its latest total death count – 892 – may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that if there is a discrepancy, “the data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date. ”
The Star count includes some patients who are reported to have “probable” COVID-19, which means they have symptoms and contacts or a travel history that indicates they are most likely to have the disease, but have not yet received a positive laboratory test.