Ontario’s science table says hospitalizations could reach 4,000 in May, masking can stop COVID-19 spread

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Ontario is well into wave 6 of the pandemic, the province’s science table said today. The rise in cases is driven by the new, more transmissible BA.2 subvariant, waning
immunity, and lifting of public health measures.

Masking in indoor areas will substantially reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 as will improvements to ventilation.

Although wastewater surveillance suggests that community transmission may have peaked. Modelling indicates that hospital occupancy is likely to continue to rise for some time, with uncertainty in the timing and height of the peak, the advisory body added. In a worst case scenario daily infection rates could touch 4,000 in May.

COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers are as high as in the last Omicron wave, Ontario’s Science Table has said. High infection rates combined with potentially high hospitalization rates will reduce Ontario’s ability to provide care for non-COVID-19 patients.
Individuals with Omicron symptoms should stay home and isolate. At least two negative rapid antigen tests separated by at least 24 hours are required to be confident that an individual is not infected.

Infected individuals are at risk of developing Long COVID, which is associated with serious neurologic illness, heart attacks, stroke, and long-term impairment, the advisory body has warned.

A complete vaccine series (currently 2 doses in children, 3 doses in adolescents and adults, 4 doses in older adults and high-risk groups) provides strong protection against hospital and ICU admission and is the best defence against getting symptoms and spreading COVID-19.

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