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Toronto releases COVID-19 data revealing where the virus could be headed

Last Updated Oct 7, 2020 at 4:10 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory and the City’s top doctor, Eileen de Villa, presented new modelling numbers on Wednesday, suggesting that COVID-19 will get worse if additional measures aren’t enforced.

Toronto Public Health says the reproduction number for COVID-19 is now 1.2, meaning virus will keep spreading quickly.

“If the ‘R’ is below 1, it means each new case is generating less than 1 new infection and that the outbreak will slowly die out. If the ‘R’ is at 1, the amount of illness in the community is stable. It isn’t getting better but it isn’t getting worse,” de Villa explained.

“Anything above one means each infection is generating one new case and the outbreak is growing.”

She says the province is estimating that Toronto is at around 1.4, indicating an even higher increase, therefore growing even faster.

De Villa says with the City’s current level of transmission, officials project disease activity in October will exceed the winter peak. If the virus is unchecked, it will get much worse in November and then peak in March or May 2021.

In addition, de Villa says her team recently received preliminary data related to percent positivity by neighbourhood.

“Certain neighbourhoods in Toronto, particularly in the North West and the North East of the City have paid a heavy price throughout the pandemic,” she said.

She says the content will be presented soon, once the most current data is ready for sharing.