Ontario modelling suggests 4-6 weeks of "hard lockdown" would bring COVID-19 cases down

Dec 21 2020, 8:09 am

Ontario health officials released COVID-19 modelling data on Monday morning, indicating that a “hard lockdown” of 4 to 6 weeks would bring case numbers down significantly.

At this time, the projections show it would bring cases to under 1,000 per day.

At the current rate of growth, ICU occupancy will surpass 300 within the next 10 days and eclipse 1,500 by the middle of January.

The projections come before premier Doug Ford is expected to announce enhanced public safety measures and a possible province-wide shut down similar to action taken in March of this year.

As per current modelling at the highest projected rate of 7% transmission, Ontario would see upwards of 30,000 cases per day, at 5% just under 15,000, and at 3% upwards of 5,000 daily cases.

Currently, even at a 1% transmission rate, Ontario will still see up to 3,000 cases per day.

While the previous modelling saw Ontario following the trends of neighbouring countries, all current projections surpass projected growth in countries like France and the Netherlands.

Government of Ontario

As cases and ICU admissions climb, health officials also note that the quality of patient care will continue to decline below 2019 average levels, compromising patient care.

Ontario’s hotspots, Toronto, Peel and York Region continue to see the most significant growth. Notably, Peel region is seeing a test positive rate of 8.1%, while Windsor-Essex, recently under new lockdown measures, has passed Toronto, Peel and Hamilton’s test positive rate at 6.6%.

Government of Ontario

Ahead of expected new lockdown measures for all of Ontario, health officials modelling data is reporting that a 6-week hard lockdown would be the most beneficial to flattening the curve of virus transmission.

As a worst-case scenario under a 5% transmission rate, Ontario would see under 100 cases per day by May 8, by April 19 at 3% or by March 22 at o%. The Government of Ontario confirmed 2,123 new COVID-19 cases on Monday morning, a decrease from the 2,316 reported on Sunday.

According to the provincial health officials, with lower case numbers “we can maintain safe ICU care for COVID-19 and non- COVID-19 patients who require it.”

As well, officials note that public health restrictions will require more resources, such as testing and isolation/quarantine support, in communities and essential service workplaces where exposure is higher.

Cases in Ontario have been above 2,000 for seven days in a row, with Sunday’s 2,316Saturday’s 2,357,  Friday’s 2,290, Thursday’s record-breaking 2,432, Wednesday’s 2,139, and Tuesday’s 2,275.

The province is also reporting 1,931 more resolved cases and 25 new deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Ontario has seen a total of 158,053 COVID-19 cases, with 134,867 cases considered resolved and 4,167 total deaths.