New modelling warns of rising Ontario cases, supports pause in reopening

“ICU occupancy is stable right now but as cases increase, ICU occupancy will also increase”

Article content

Ontario is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases while “critical gaps” in vaccination coverage continue across communities, new provincial modelling shows.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The Ontario Science Advisory Table says the province is likely to see increasing numbers of daily cases into December.

A levelling off or decline in new cases or a sharp spike of 800 or more daily cases, while possible, are deemed less likely than a more gradual increase over the new few weeks.

However, the science table says the newest modelling numbers are predicated on a halt in reopening the province and may be conservative.

“Ontario’s case counts are rising, and the immediate future is uncertain,” the modelling released Friday says. “ICU occupancy is stable right now but as cases increase, ICU occupancy will also increase … Experience in Europe and across Canada show that cases can rise quickly, with subsequent increases in hospital admissions, ICU occupancy and deaths.”

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The scientists say the general move to indoors during cold weather and the lifting of capacity limits are the sources of recent and ongoing increased transmission of COVID-19.

Data released Friday by the Ontario Science Advisory Table.
Data released Friday by the Ontario Science Advisory Table.

Alexandra Hilkene, a spokesperson for Health Minister Christine Elliott, said the modelling supports the government’s “cautious and gradual” reopening plan, including the decision to pause the lifting of capacity limits at nightclubs and similar venues planned for Monday.

“A phased and cautious approach to Ontario’s reopening also includes the ongoing monitoring and assessment of key public health and health-care indicators, and while certain public health trends have increased slightly, an increase in cases was always expected as more people move indoors and as the province safely and gradually lifted certain measures,” she said.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

“Ontario’s hospital and intensive care capacity remains stable and the province continues to report one of the lowest rates of active cases in the country.”

Ontario reported 598 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and four more deaths.

Elliott tweeted: “376 cases are in individuals who are not fully vaccinated or have an unknown vaccination status and 222 are in fully vaccinated individuals.”

The science table said all age groups from 59 years old and younger remain below the 90% threshold for fully vaccinated in Ontario.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

Despite a promising vaccination start, the rate of immunization for Indigenous adults living in Toronto falls significantly below the average in the city and Ontario.

Social and structural inequalities have left some populations more vulnerable to COVID-19, the science table says.

“Available data show people with lower income, essential workers, and visible minorities have experienced the highest risk of COVID-19-related mortality,” the modelling says. “Inequalities in COVID-19-related mortality stemmed from differential exposures, and access to and reach of interventions such as testing and isolation.”

The science table’s modelling can be found at covid19-sciencetable.ca .

aartuso@postmedia.com

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world