New modelling data says Ontario needs a six-week stay-at-home order and at least 100,000 vaccinations administered per day to flatten the curve and bring surging COVID-19 case counts down.
In the worst case scenario with “weak” public health measures, the province could reach over 30,000 daily COVID-19 cases by June.
The modelling data suggests without stronger “system-level” measures and “immediate support” for essential workers and high-risk neighbourhoods, high case counts will persist into the summer.
In the best case scenario with strong public health measures and 100,000 vaccines a day, Ontario will peak at 7,500 COVID-19 cases a day by the end of April before dropping to 2,500 by the beginning of May.
Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who presented the modelling data, says Ontario is currently under moderate public health measures.
Positivity rates have increased significantly especially in Peel Region where it is 15 per cent and Toronto at 11.4 per cent.
There has been a 67 per cent increase in hospitalizations and 51 per cent increase in ICU occupancy in the last two weeks. Dr. Brown said in the next few weeks, the province could see over 1,000 ICU beds filled by COVID patients.
Dr. Brown said three things will help stop the pandemic: wearing a mask indoors when not at home, only seeing people outside and getting a vaccine when it’s your turn.
“I know we’re tired, demoralized and some of us, heartbroken,” said Dr. Brown. “The biggest problem we now face, maybe that we’re just too tired to notice. So I am begging you as part of the team to notice.”
The previous round of modelling, released two weeks ago, predicted that without intervention, the province would see 6,000 cases a day by the end of April.
The Ford government is expected to unveil further public health measures on Friday once the modelling is revealed.
680 NEWS has learned a provincewide curfew is not one of the measures being considered at this time, as the province scrambles to curb the surge in cases help an overburdened health-care system.
The measure was discussed at a cabinet meeting Thursday and sources say while it’s currently off the table, things could change as no final decisions have been made.
It’s believed Premier Ford and his cabinet are looking at a host of other measures that could include restrictions to non-essential construction.
The number of patients flooding into GTA hospitals continues to grow with staff and resources being shuffled and patients being moved to deal with the demand.
Doctors are not only seeing more patients during the third wave of the pandemic, but many are showing up with much more severe symptoms of COVID-19 due to a rise in variant of concern (VOCs) cases.
There are 38,341 active VOC cases in the province — the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the U.K. now makes up approximately 70 per cent of the active cases in the province.
During the last round of modelling, the science table said that vaccinations have not successfully reached communities that are at the highest risk which has delayed the impact that they could have at tempering the severity of the third wave.
Around 22 per cent of the province has now received at least one dose of the vaccine with over 3.5 million doses administered and more than 4.8 million doses delivered.
Ontario reported a pandemic high 4,812 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.