Ontario health officials say the province could see upwards of 1,000 coronavirus cases a day in October, as the second wave is in full swing.
The stark new forecasting comes in updated modelling released Wednesday morning by the provincial government.
Cases in the province are now doubling almost every 10 to 12 days, according to documents released, and while the second wave was initially impacting people between the ages of 20 to 39, it has now begun to impact ages across the board.
The modelling released on Wednesday does not take into account, however, the additional public measures introduced by the Ford government already.
Additional public health measures were invoked in mid-September due to the upward trend in case numbers across the province, but most specifically in Toronto, Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.
On Sept. 19, the Ford government lowered limits on private gatherings from 50 indoors to 10 and from 100 outdoors to 25.
On Sept. 25, measures were tightened on businesses selling food and alcohol, including restaurants and bars having to close by midnight and must stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m. All strip clubs were also shut down across Ontario.
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The modelling released showcased “various scenarios” in regard to the impact the second wave will have on hospitals and ICUs based on three separate experiences: Ontario’s first wave (low scenario), Michigan’s experience (medium scenario) with a mix of old and young people and Australia’s experience (high scenario) with their older and more vulnerable population.
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The documents showed that if Ontario sees 150 or less patients in the ICU, then hospitals can maintain capacity to aid those with non-COVID-19 issues, including surgeries.
If the ICUs begin to be bogged down with more than 150 patients, the modelling suggests it will become harder to support non-COVID-19 care. More than 350 people in the ICU, health officials said it would be “impossible” to support non-COVID-19 care.
“COVID-19 continues to be a serious threat in our communities, and today’s modelling shows the importance of adhering to public health measures,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Over the summer we saw how our collective efforts helped slow the transmission of COVID-19, we must not let our guard down now as we head into the cold and flu season.”
“Folks, we have to work together to turn the tide in this fight,” Premier Doug Ford said.
As of Wednesday, Ontario has seen 51,710 coronavirus cases and 2,848 total deaths.
Meanwhile, 43,907 Ontarians have recovered from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, which is 85 per cent of known cases.
The Public Health Agency of Canada released its own latest modelling last week, predicting up to 9,300 deaths across the country by early October if the current trajectory of the epidemic continues.
–With files from The Canadian Press