New modelling data released by the province shows that in all possible scenarios, the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units at Ontario hospitals will exceed 300 within the next 10 days and that number could surpass 1,500 by mid-January under the worst-case scenario.
By Jan. 24, the modelling table projects that the province could see around 6,000 new COVID-19 infections per day with three per cent case growth, close to 14,000 new cases per day with five per cent case growth, and nearly 30,000 cases per day if the province were to see a staggering seven per cent case growth.
Over the past 14 days, Ontario has seen about 1.19 per cent case growth per day and if the province maintains that level of transmission, the number of daily cases by the end of January would be close to 3,000.
Under the most likely scenario, the modellers say, we will see more than 50 new deaths per day in the province by February.
Over the past four weeks, the province says there has been close to a 70 per cent increase in hospitalizations and an 83 per cent increase in ICU patients with COVID-19.
With three per cent case growth, ICU capacity in the province’s hospitals will approach 600 in one month from now.
For comparison, overall occupancy in Ontario hospital ICUs for all reasons, not just COVID-19, hit 1,760 last week, which several doctors told CP24 was a record for the year.
The province’s experts warn that while the per cent positivity appears to be flattening in Ontario, the ability “to control case growth is still precarious.”
The province notes that a four-to-six week “hard lockdown,” such as the ones implemented in France and Australia, could reduce the number of new cases in Ontario to less than 1,000 per day and “possibly much lower” with more testing and support.
According to the province, under the three per cent case growth scenario, a hard lockdown in Ontario could bring the number of daily infections down to below 1,000 cases per day by Jan. 26 and less than 500 cases per day by Feb. 12.
“With lower case numbers we can maintain safe ICU care for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients who require it,” the modelling table notes.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
News source: CP24