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COVID modelling looks brighter but caveats around new variants

COVID modelling looks brighter but caveats around new variants

New COVID modelling released by the province today suggests schools can reopen, with safeguards in place.

But Dr. Adalsteinn Brown warned that the positive outlooks depends on the provinces ability to control the new British variant of the virus which he says will likely become the dominant strain. He di say that the current vaccines appear to be effective as are the public health measures already in place.

The presentation showed that we should see a steady decrease  in the number of COVID-19 patients in over the next month amid lower case counts and that ICU cases may even drop down below 150, a critical line at which point elective care can resume at most hospitals.

The latest modelling provides three different scenarios on what the next month might look like in Ontario while also acknowledging that the presence of new variants remains a “significant threat to our control of the pandemic.”

Concern that new variant could reverse positive trend

It says that if cases fall at a daily rate of about one per cent Ontario is likely to see about 1,700 new infections per day by Feb. 28 but if cases were to drop by about three per cent per day the province could get under 1,000 daily cases by then. However, in the event that the more contagious B.1.1.7. variant takes hold in the community; the modelling says that case counts could begin to rise again in mid-February and surpass 2,000 a day by the end of the month.

“We are making progress, cases are down overall and while the new variants give us less room to relax and less room for error the current public health measures should work against the new variant,” Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province’s COVID-19 science table, told reporters as he presented the new projections.

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