Ontario preparing the worst-case scenario for second coronavirus wave: health minister

Sep 16 2020, 1:17 pm

Ontario is preparing for the worst-case scenario as the second COVID-19 wave arrives.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliot said she has been presented with several different modelling scenarios on the second wave. One shows “a small up and down surge” and another shows “peaks and valleys” of cases.

But the third scenario is the one Ontario is preparing for, “which is the worst of the three scenarios,” Elliot said. This scenario indicates that there will be “a large spike in cases.”

“So we have a plan in place to deal with hospital capacity, to deal with testing, to deal with lab capacity, but to allow for surgeries and other procedures to continue which have been postponed from wave one,” she added.

To improve testing capacity, Elliot said that the province is aiming to have 50,000 tests done a day to “ramp up testing capacity significantly.”

She also said the province is working with Ontario Health to have more mobile testing units in the most difficult regions like London, Toronto, and Ottawa — “to relieve some of that congestion.”

Elliot said there isn’t a definite date to have the 50,000 tests done but that they’re “actively working towards that goal with Ontario Health.”

“But of course you have to have the testing and the labs working in tandem because it is not worth much if you can have a test done in a short period of time but it takes you four days or a week for the results to come back,” she said.

“So we are moving forward with both of them. Ontario Health is reaching out to other partners in the community that can help us with increasing the lab tests as well.”

Currently, Ontario does an average of 25,000 to 30,000 tests per day.

To date, there has been a total of 45,923 cases, with 40,245 resolved and 2,822 reported deaths.

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