Ontario could have 6,000 cases of COVID-19 a day by December according to public health officials

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Public modeling says the virus’ spread could be worse than in locked down European countries

Public Health Ontario officials say there could be as many as 6,000 COVID-19 cases per day by December.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams and Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, released new figures Thursday showing most of the indicators are getting worse in all of Ontario but particularly in the Greater Toronto Area.

Thursday, Ontario reported 1,545 cases of the virus – the largest number yet. About 1,000 of those are in Toronto.

Brown says Ontario is clearly in the second wave although some regions of the province have not yet been affected as much as the GTA.

Brown says if the number of cases continues to grow at about five per cent, Ontario’s case numbers will exceed European countries like the United Kingdom and France. Those countries are currently on lock down.

The health modeling shows if the number of cases continues to grow at three per cent, Ontario will see 3,000 cases per day by early December. If it grows by five percent, the province could have 6,000 cases by then.

Brown told reporters Thursday than in the last seven days, the number of COVID-19 cases have been rising by four per cent. In the last three days, it has been over six per cent.

He added that would soon have a big impact on health services. There has been a 61 per cent increase in the number of people hospitalized for the virus. If that continues, Brown says 300 ICU beds would be occupied by COVID-19 patients and there would be “significant limitations responding to patient needs” including cancelling non-COVID procedures.

Williams admitted urban areas are “having a great deal of trouble” keeping up with the number of people falling ill and tracing who they have been in contact with. However Williams did not publicly say what other measures the province should put in place in the GTA. Instead, he says, public health is still watching to see if the measures put in place by local public health units will have an impact.

The increasing case volume comes as the province faces more criticism about the criteria for when and how more restrictions are placed on communities to fight the virus. Public Health Units in Toronto and Peel have imposed their own measures to deal with the increasing number of cases.

When Brown was asked if there should be more restrictions he answered “If the goal is reduce cases and the impact on the health system, then yes.”