Mar 19, 2022

By Steve Kee

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Ontario is reporting 613 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 185 people in ICU.

That’s down from 615 hospitalizations and 193 intensive care patients yesterday.

There are 13 more COVID-19 deaths being reported today.

Provincial data show 2,078 new infections, but Ontario’s top doctor has said the actual number is likely 10 times higher than the daily log, since access to PCR testing is restricted.

About seven per cent of long-term care homes in the province have active COVID-19 outbreaks.

Data on school closures isn’t being logged this week due to the March break.

Meantime, one school board in southern Ontario plans to extend its mask mandate beyond the provincial one, even after the government instructed it to drop the public health measure.

The Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board says it will enforce mask-wearing until April 1, despite the province lifting mandates in most indoor settings starting Monday.

Ontario’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, sent a letter to school boards Thursday telling them that they must make masking optional, and the board says it also received one from Education Minister Stephen Lecce on Friday.

Earlier this week, Moore told boards that had requested an extension for mask mandates in schools that mandatory masking in schools is set to end Monday.

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