Critical care bed use in Canada highest it’s been since the pandemic began

Pressure on hospitals increasing

The number of COVID-19 patients being treated in intensive care units in Canada is the highest it’s been through the pandemic – 1,040 as of Monday. That’s twice the number that were in ICUs at the beginning of March, and 150 more than at the peak seen in the second wave.

The rising rate of new infections in Canada is putting extraordinary pressure on hospitals, particularly in the Greater Toronto Area, the third wave’s epicentre.

The B.1.1.7 variant is largely responsible for the spike in Ontario, where daily case counts topped 4,000 for three of the past four days. There were 619 COVID-19 patients in Ontario ICUs as of Monday.

The rising case numbers in Ontario prompted Premier Doug Ford announce all students in the province will return to remote learning after this week’s school break. The return to remote learning is indefinite.