Some reason for optimism following the presentation of new provincial COVID-19 modelling data on Thursday.
Dr. Steini Brown of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says cases appear to have crested, albeit at very high levels. “Today we will share data that has some hope in it,” he said at a Thursday afternoon media briefing. “But it’s hope that requires a commitment.”
Brown said despite the cresting of the caseload, the strain on the province’s hospitals will continue for some time, requiring us to adhere to public health measures. “If we keep our commitment to getting our case numbers down, we can sustain our health system. And we can look towards a new normal that is hopefully better than the one we left when the pandemic started,” he said. “All of us are doing this together in the decision to stay home, to stay away from work when you’re feeling ill. And the decision to wear a mask when we were out.”
“This hope requires a commitment, a dead set determination to see the job through, it requires staying the course and making sure that we make the third wave the last wave, that we control spread so that our vaccination efforts have time to take hold,” he added.
Thursday’s modelling data indicates cases are flattening with many public health unit zones across Ontario, while there remain some pockets of growth, including in Peel Region. In fact, cases appear to be decreasing earlier and faster than predicted in the modelling numbers released in early April. Brown says the only way cases will decrease to the levels seen in February is under best-case scenario conditions; according to the science advisory table, that means effective sick pay, a short list of essential workplaces, lower mobility of Ontarians, and a continued focus on vaccinating those in high-risk communities.
Variants make up the majority of new cases at over 90 per cent according to the science table. “We cannot afford a fourth wave. And we cannot let the new variants into our system at such a challenging time,” concluded Brown.