Ontario is in 'twice the red' level, needs a 'hard lockdown' to flatten COVID-19 case growth, modelling reveals

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The latest COVID-19 modeling data from Ontario still shows the province is in a "precarious" position and a "hard lockdown" is required.
"We need measures that reduce people's interaction with other people who don't live in their household," said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario.
"The sooner the work begins to reduce human contact and support people who need to be isolated at home, the lower the case numbers will be," added Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table in Ontario.
Ontario's COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table
The data released on Monday shows that case values ​​in Ontario are twice as high as the “red” values, also known as “control values”. They refer to the zone in the province's COVID-19 response framework just before the lockdown.
All public health units are at or above the "restrict" or "orange" threshold and see more than 25 cases per 100,000 people.
The five zones of public health action for COVID-19 in Ontario. Currently, most affected regions in the province, averaging over 2,000 cases per day, have doubled the number of cases for the "control" level, moving the province to "gray" or "lockdown".
If Ontario continues with case growth of between one and three percent, the province will see between 3,000 and 5,000 cases per day by the fourth week of January. Case growth rises to seven percent. Ontario will see more than 30,000 cases per day by the end of January.
"We are in a place with very, very strong growth potential," said Dr. Brown.
Ontario's COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
Dr. Brown pointed out that while Ontario has seen a “flattening” in test positivity, it has been much higher overall, increasing by around 30 to 50 percent since the beginning of last month.
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
"We are in a very, very challenging position to control the disease," said Dr. Brown.
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
There are also significant regional variations in the number of health units that test results can return to people in two days.
"Getting test results back to people promptly is critical to disease control. It is critical to isolating people. It is critical to case and contact tracing," said Dr. Brown.
Ontario's COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table
The increase in hospital stays has decreased from about 92 percent to about 69 percent since the modeling data was last presented earlier this month. The increase in the number of ICU patients with COVID-19 has also decreased from about 166 percent to about 83 percent.
"This pattern of growth at a considerable level continues, as it has pretty much since the beginning of these briefings," said Dr. Brown.
Ontario's COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Table
According to one of the modeling projections, the occupancy of the intensive care unit will still be over 300 beds by the end of December, even under a growth scenario of zero percent. In a growth situation of seven percent, around 1,500 intensive care beds will be filled with COVID-19 patients by mid-January.
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
“With lower case we can maintain safe intensive care for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients who need it,” the key results of the modeling data read.
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
Intensive care unit occupancy in the province is not marginally distributed in Ontario. Dr. Brown noted that it is "grouped" into regions with the highest COVID-19 prevalence.
Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table
Dr. Brown also stressed that the biggest predictor of a nursing home outbreak is common in the communities around these facilities.
The story goes on

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