New projections by Ontario COVID-19 science advisory table show the province could see 2,500 daily new cases of COVID-19 per day at a three per cent growth and 6,500 daily new cases at a five per cent by mid-December if no further action is taken to curb the fast-rising curve.

According to the new modelling shared on Thursday, the pandemic is worsening across Ontario and case numbers are likely to exceed those of European cities currently in some form of lockdown, if case counts continue to grow by five per cent.

“At a 5% rate of growth, our case numbers likely exceed several jurisdictions in Europe, including France and the U.K, that are now in some form of lockdown,” the science advisory table noted in its a summary of its projections. Other countries have struggled to control spread after allowing strong growth in case numbers in the early Fall, they pointed out.

However a five per cent growth rate is an “optimistic” scenario, according to Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of Ontario’s COVID-19 science advisory table and Dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. While the province’s seven-day growth average right was currently already about four per cent, the growth rate has been about six per cent over the last three days, Brown said at a news conference Thursday.

Long-term care home resident mortality is increasing by more each week, according to government findings. Ontario has seen 71 deaths in the past seven days and health officials expect that number to quickly rise as case counts grow.

Outbreaks continue to account for 10% of cases with recent research suggesting indoor environments where health protection is difficult account for majority of cases, it was pointed out.
Among the dire projections was the estimation that ICU occupancy will exceed the 150 bed threshold under any scenario within two weeks and 400 beds under the worst scenarios within six weeks.
Overall it was felt that key indicators of the pandemic continued to worsen but the impact varied widely across regions.

Wastewater tracking suggested that the restrictions had some effect in reducing potential growth.

Brown said more restrictions should be put in place in some of the hot spot areas in order to reduce cases and the impact on the health-care system.

But Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said it is up to each Ontarian to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“I think the numbers are in front of us, the task is in front of us and the solution, we’re aware of,” said Dr. David Williams. “If everybody did what they’re supposed to do, we can bring those numbers down, we can bring those numbers down considerably.”

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