Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says key COVID-19 indicators are improving thanks to public health measures in place as well as the efforts of Ontarians. Despite this, the table says some public health measures should remain in place until mid-June to ensure a good summer.
“The direction of the pandemic has turned. And if we’re careful and cautious, we can maintain this momentum,” said the Science Table’s Dr. Steini Brown. “This momentum is what gets us to a good summer. That’s thanks to your work.”
“Our vaccine rollout has been impressive of late,” added Brown. “It is helping, and the public health measures, however taxing and frustrating have helped stop the spread.”
New modelling data released on Thursday indicates that if current health measures remain in place until June 2 as planned, there would be a modest bump in cases shortly after, followed by a slow decline through to mid-July. The Table says if measures remain in place until June 16, we would instead see a gradual decline right through the summer months. This all assumes a daily vaccination rate of around 130,000 doses daily.
The Table’s numbers indicate, should schools reopen on June 2, there would be a 6 to 11 per cent increase in new daily cases, but Dr. Brown says that increase could be managed through additional health measures.
While it did indicate many health measures should remain in place until mid-June, the Advisory Table made the case for many outdoor activities to resume. The Table says safer outdoor activities include camping, basketball, and tennis. It points out that those activities that resume outdoor follow the “Two-Out-Of-Three” rule:
Thursday’s modelling data briefing shows, while the access-to-care deficit continues, high-priority surgeries are being performed at higher and higher rates. “The numbers of cases and hospitalizations are falling. That is good news. But we need to temper this good news with the knowledge that our hospitals are still under incredible strain,” added Dr. Brown. ICU occupancy is expected to decrease steadily, with fewer than 500 beds in use by the middle of June.
Thursday’s media briefing with the Science Advisory Table came in advance of an announcement from Premier Doug Ford surrounding the province’s reopening plans.