Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has updated its dashboard to include Omicron, and the numbers are concerning.
According to the dashboard, as of December 6, the effective reproduction number for Omicron in Ontario is 3.32. This means that for each person infected with the Omicron variant, they are likely to infect 3.32 others.
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To put that into context, the Science Table shows the effective reproduction number for all other variants combined up to December 9 is 1.72. The number of people likely to be infected by one person with COVID-19 has nearly doubled.
This isn’t the only stark figure on the Science Table’s dashboard. It shows estimates that 20.8% of COVID-19 cases in Ontario are now Omicron and that its doubling time is every three days. This is much faster than the Delta variant’s doubling rate which is shown as every 34 days.
Omicron is here 1/5 We’re now following Omicron closely on our dashboard. Some key figures: Rt for Omicron is 3.32 (!!!), compared to 1.27 for all variants combined…. #COVID19ON https://t.co/U6F16usw2A
— COVIDScienceOntario (@COVIDSciOntario) December 13, 2021
The Science Table also breaks down the risk of getting COVID-19 among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Fully vaccinated people represent 73.5 cases per million per day. Unvaccinated individuals represent 279.5 cases per million per day.
Similarly, hospitalizations among unvaccinated people represent 137.2 hospitalizations per million per day, whereas fully vaccinated people represent 9.3 hospitalizations per million per day. Vaccination reduces the risk of hospitalization by 93.2%, according to the Science Table.
The Science Table released new COVID-19 modelling last week, showing a grim future for Ontario. The model predicts a rise in cases “even without Omicron.” With Omicron quickly overtaking Delta cases in the province, numbers could hit all-time highs.
It is unclear how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against the new variant. In light of growing case numbers and the new variant, Ontario is opening booster doses to all Ontarians aged 18 and over on January 4.