Ontario’s COVID-19 data suggests new cases could surge to 1,000 per day by mid-October

TORONTO — New COVID-19 modelling released by the Ontario government on Wednesday forecasts the province could reach 1,000 new infections per day by mid-October.

According to the data released on Wednesday, new COVID-19 cases in Ontario are doubling approximately every 10 to 12 days. 

“If things grow as we’re anticipating, we will see a dramatic increase in the number of cases,” Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto Adalsteinn Brown said. “Likely over 1,000 cases, within the first half of October a day, which is a remarkably high surge.”

According to the provincial government, when there are less than 150 people in an intensive care unit with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, the province can “maintain non-COVID capacity and all scheduled surgeries.”

Once that number rises above 150 it becomes harder to support non-COVID-19 needs, the government said. Once it exceeds 350 people, it becomes “impossible.”

The government provided three scenarios, based off other experiences with COVID-19 around the world, to forecast how many patients will be admitted to intensive care during the second wave.

Victoria, Australia was used as the high scenario, while Michigan was used as the medium scenario. The low scenario was based off Ontario’s first wave, but with a younger population. 

While the low scenario does not exceed 150 people in intensive care, the medium scenario creeps up to about 250. 

If Ontario followed Victoria, Australia’s spike in COVID-19 cases, which sent much of the state into one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, intensive care admissions would surge to nearly 600. 

“Where we’re modelling right now suggests that we’re starting to get closer to where Victoria was,” Brown said.

Ontario modelling

The modelling does not take into account the government’s recent tightening of public health measures, which included slashing social gatherings, closing strip clubs and tougher restrictions on bars and restaurants. 

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said Wednesday the province will “have some more actions coming” to flatten the second wave of the disease.

Meanwhile, health officials in Ontario continue to record numbers of new COVID-19 infections at levels unseen since April. 

The province logged 625 new infections Wednesday morning, up from the 554 cases added on Tuesday.

Officials said Wednesday that new COVID-19 cases, which were mostly attributed to people under 40, has now led to an increase in every age group.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford to make an announcement

On the heels of the new modelling data being released, Ford is expected to make an announcement at Queen’s Park. 

Ford will be joined alongside Health Minister Christine Elliott and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams to make the announcement at 1 p.m.

CTVNewsToronto.ca will stream the announcement live. 

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