Ontario reported 855 people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday, with 165 of those patients requiring intensive care and 99 of those patients requiring a ventilator to keep breathing.

The number of hospitalizations is up by 51 from 804 on Friday and up by nearly 150 from 707 one week ago.

The number of patients in intensive care is down by two from 167 reported yesterday and up from 157 reported at this time last week.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said on Thursday that the Ontario government has no plans to reintroduce mandatory masking or pause its reopening plans, even as a sixth wave of COVID-19 is underway in the province with hospitalizations on the rise.

Another 3,233 COVID-19 cases were reported through limited PCR testing on Saturday, with 16,001 tests completed the day before.

The test positivity rate was 17.1 per cent, up from Friday's rate of 16.4 per cent and Thursday's rate of 16 per cent, despite fewer tests completed.

The number of cases decreased after rising for three days straight. However, it is still past the 3,000 mark. The last time Ontario surpassed the 3,000 marker was Feb. 10. Modelling suggests the real figure to be 10 times the reported number.

There were also seven more deaths reported by the province, bringing the total death toll in the province to 12,460.

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