ONTARIO COVID CASES DOWN BUT VARIANT POSES SIGNIFICANT THREAT

Jan 28, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Ontario is on track to surpass the number of COVID deaths in long-term care homes than during the first wave, just 173 deaths away from that grim milestone.  There have been 215 residents deaths just in the last seven days and while the number of cases is declining, the death rate is not.

“Interventions to reduce deaths in long-term care will be critical,” said Dr. Steini Brown, co-chair of the science advisory table.

Dr. Brown released the province’s updated modelling, the first since the stay-at-home order was imposed. He says while we’re doing better than two weeks ago, we’re not in the clear yet. Dr. Brown says the more contagious U-K variant is a significant concern. There are currently 51 cases of the new variant in Ontario.

“Perhaps most worrisome, the new variants of concern, the mutated SARS-CoV-2 virus are clearly spreading in the community and will likely be the dominant version of the virus in March.”

He points out that more variants will be discovered as the pandemic goes on but currently there are no cases of the South Africa or Brazil variants identified in Ontario. The modelling suggests GTA schools can reopen and some surgeries could soon resume even with new COVID-19 variant.

The new projections paint a different picture than dire modelling released earlier this month. COVID-19 cases are down across the province, but testing is also down.

Under new projections, there could be between 1,000 and 2,000 COVID cases per day by the end of February.

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