In April 2020, Pelham's Fire Chief, Bob Lymburner shows Mayor Marvin Junkin the likely timeline for a second and subsequent waves of COVID-19 infection over the following 12-18 months. DAVE BURKET

According to statistics released by Niagara Region Public Health, on Friday, April 30, the number of active COVID-19 infections in Pelham has increased to 139, another new high during the 14-month pandemic.

Welland has 551 active cases, Thorold 172, and Wainfleet 31. Welland leads Niagara in infections per 10,000 population, followed by Port Colborne, Thorold, then Pelham.

Active infections continue to be seen primarily in 20-39-year-olds, and under-20s.

Nearly 60 percent of cases are attributed to “variants of concern,” or mutations of the coronavirus that continue to develop.

NIAGARA REGION

In a statement released Thursday, April 29, Niagara Health advised that its ICU beds were filled to “unprecedented levels” by COVID patients, with more admissions expected.

“The next phase in our planning is to change the footprint for critical care services in St. Catharines to create more capacity for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients,” read the statement. “This includes opening 12 Level 3 ICU beds in the post-operative recovery area for additional acute COVID-19 patients. Post-operative patients will be cared for in another area.”

As of Thursday, Niagara Health was caring for 82 COVID-19 patients, including 24 in the ICU (19 patients in St. Catharines and five in Niagara Falls). Their overall ICU capacity was at 108 percent based on regularly budgeted Pre-COVID-19 beds. In St. Catharines, the ICU capacity was at 121 percent and the Level 3 ICU capacity, the highest level of ICU care, was at 164 percent.

Ontario remains under an emergency stay-at-home order, with trips outside limited to essential runs for food, medicine, and medical appointments, including COVID-19 vaccinations.