Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table released its latest modelling on Friday afternoon, reporting that, COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and ICU occupancy are at the highest levels since March 2020 and are set to go even higher over the short term.
“Without stronger system-level measures and immediate support for essential workers and high-risk communities, high case rates will persist through the summer,” the science table report stated.
The report also suggested that ICU occupancy is compromising care for all patients, and that a six-week stay-at-home order with a vaccination rate of at least 100,000 doses per day is the only way to flatten the curve.
“Although improving, vaccination is not reaching people at high-risk fast enough to overcome the level of serious illness in our communities and our hospitals,” the report continued.
The findings were presented on Friday afternoon by Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical officer of Health, and Adalsteinn Brown, Co-Chair of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
Just two weeks ago, the modelling numbers suggested that, without intervention, the province would see 6,000 cases a day by the end of April and ICU numbers could reach nearly 800/day by the end of the month.
As of Friday, Ontario reported 1,955 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 701 patients are in ICU due to COVID-related critical illnesses, and 480 patients are in ICU on a ventilator due to COVID-related critical illnesses. Moreover, 3,644,038 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Even with the ramp-up in vaccinations, the medical community still doesn’t have conclusive results on how well the vaccines will work against coronavirus variants.
“The number of variant cases continues to rise and variants now dominate, but even the original strain is rising,” the advisory report stated.
On Friday, Ontario reported 30,175 cases of the U.K. variant (a moderate increase from the 27,278 cases of this variant reported the previous day), 99 cases of the South African variant (up from 95 reported the previous day), and 202 cases of the Brazilian variant (up from 191 reported the previous day).
The province also reported a single-day record high of 4,812 cases of COVID-19 on Friday, with 1,469 new cases in Toronto, 851 in Peel, 491 in York Region, 366 in Ottawa, and 268 in Durham.
Meanwhile, Premiere Doug Ford is set to announce further restrictions on Friday afternoon to help combat the soaring cases. Although reports suggest that a province-wide curfew will likely not be one of the measures considered, other restrictions could be put in place, such as to non-essential construction, and travel within the province.
Click here for more COVID-19 Ontario updates.