The community spread of COVID-19 in Ontario has peaked and is most closely following the best case scenario forecast by public health experts. That’s the positive conclusion of new modelling released Monday that shows the peak came well before the expected time period in May. Modelling issued at the beginning of the month suggested Ontario could experience 300,000 COVID cases in a worse case scenario, and 80,000 cases in a more likely scenario. Now the modelling suggests we will get 20,000 cases or less by the time the pandemic is over
“Based on recent data, if current measures restricting spread of the disease remain in place, Ontario appears to be tracking toward the South Korea (‘best case’) scenario,” government documents say, referring to the jurisdiction considered to be one of the best in handling the outbreak.
If the current rate of spread in the community holds, Ontario will have more than sufficient hospital capacity for patients, according to the forecast.The officials support the extension to May 12 of the provincial state of emergency, the order which closes schools and most businesses.
“Public should continue to stay home and maintain physical distancing to ensure the province continues to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve,” the public health experts recommend. “These actions are making a difference and people need to stay the course and stay strong in order to save lives.”
While the rate of community spread of COVID-19 appears to be slowing, that is not the case in long-term care facilities like nursing homes and other similar settings, the modellers found.
The rate of COVID-19 infection in residents and staff of long-term care continues to rise — an additional nine deaths of residents were recorded just Monday.
“The recent experience in long-term care demonstrates that the disease multiplies rapidly in congregate settings, emphasizing the need for redoubled efforts to restrict spread of COVID-19,” the public health documents say.
Public health officials say they are implementing measures to address the outbreaks including aggressive testing, screening and surveillance in long-term care-type settings.