Ontario could have over 3,000 to 6,000 new daily COVID-19 cases by mid-December if the number of people testing positive is at 5%.
On Thursday, Ontario’s public health officials released COVID-19 projections and modelling showing that if the province continues its current trend, cases will exceed the 2,000 a day mark in just a week.
“Most indicators are moving in a worsening direction across the province,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto, during a press conference.
Peel Region is leading with the number of people testing positive for the virus at 10.1%.
Toronto’s test positivity rate is 5.8%, with York Region at 5.1%, Halton at 4.8%, Durham at 3.2%, and Ottawa at 2.0%.
At a 3% positivity rate, Ontario would surpass cases in France and Germany by early December, with cases surpassing 2,000 by November 25. And, cases will increase to over 3,000 by mid-December.
And at a 5% positivity rate, Ontario would exceed France, Germany, and the UK by mid-December with over 6,000 cases and would exceed 3,000 cases daily by November 27.
They are being compared to jurisdictions that began their second wave and are all currently in a complete lockdown.
Brown said that a 5% positivity rate is likely where Ontario will be and is in fact a conservative number, as the growth rate in the last three days has been 6%.
Currently, Peel Region is leading the regions with 130.5 people having the virus per 100,000 with Toronto closely behind at 88.5, and York Region with 59.8.
In the province, hospitalizations also continue to rise with a 61% increase over the last three weeks and a 167% increase over the last six weeks. However, the stay in hospitals has reduced over time.
The ICU occupancy will exceed the 150-bed threshold under any scenario within two weeks and 400 beds under the worst-case scenarios within six weeks.
When it comes to vulnerable populations, deaths in long-term care facilities are increasing with 71 deaths in the last seven days.
When it comes to younger demographics, they are contracting the virus at a growing rate but are not getting as sick. And while younger people can transmit the virus, they will not overwhelm the health system, Brown notes.
However, with the substantial growth of cases in older populations, with “tripling or quadrupling happening the last few weeks,” Brown said it’s “dangerous for the health system” as there are growing hospitalization rates.
There are a total of 89,784 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ontario reported to date.