New COVID-19 modelling data indicates thousands of new COVID cases per day without further intervention

New forecast indicates ICU use will surpass threshold to start cancelling surgeries

New information released by Ontario health officials shows the number of daily COVID-19 cases could reach 2,500 per day, province-wide as a best-case scenario. Should further steps not be taken, that number could grow to 6,500 per day by mid-December This is a big jump from the 800 to 1,200 cases a day forecasted on October 29.

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“It’s important to note that long-term care home resident mortality is increasing,” said Dr. Steini Brown from Ontario Health. “As community spread continues, outbreaks will increase, and as outbreaks increase the risk of mortality in long-term care homes will continue to increase as well.”

Dr. Brown says in both the best- and worst-case scenarios built into this new modelling data indicates ICU occupancy across Ontario will exceed 150 beds. “This threshold of 150 beds is an important threshold, because it’s that point at which we need to start canceling plan surgeries and we can no longer deliver the full slate of planned care right now,” he said.

According to this most recent data, many health units in Ontario are struggling to bring down caseloads. “In a number of units, we’ve got case rates rising, we have present positivity rising as well,” said Brown. “That gives you an idea that the spread of the pandemic is at this point quite significant.”

“Even when we look at those public health units where the overall case rate is lower, in a relative sense, the present positivity is now up to 1.9% which more than doubles what we would have seen late in the summer,” he added.

“The percent positivity is growing substantially. And we are starting to not have the ability to track all of our cases in some public health units that’s quite acute, which means that we are in very clearly a second wave of the pandemic,” Dr. Brown concluded.

“This is a crucial time for our province,” added Ontario medical officer of health Dr. David Williams. “We know how difficult these past few months have been for everyone, Ontario’s communities, businesses, and families. But the challenge is that we need to get these numbers down to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.”