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Ontario could hit 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases in weeks according to modelling

The modelling also warns about the risks of increasing occupancy in hospital intensive care units

September 30, 2020  The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Ontario predicts daily counts of COVID-19 could hit 1,000 new cases by the first half of October.

The stark new forecasting comes in updated modelling released Sept. 30 by the provincial government.

The projections say the province has seen an upward trajectory in COVID-19 in recent weeks, with cases currently doubling every 10 to 12 days.

Officials say the modelling doesn’t take into account new rules introduced by the government in recent days, such as closing strip clubs and limiting hours of operation for bars and restaurants.

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The modelling also warns about the risks of increasing occupancy in hospital intensive care units.

Normal hospital operations cannot be maintained if more than 350 patients are in ICUs across the province.

As of Sept. 30, 30 people were being treated for COVID-19 in ICUs in different parts of Ontario.

In April, Ontario’s projections said the pandemic death toll could range from 3,000 and 15,000 people depending on the actions taken by government and members of the public.

The Public Health Agency of Canada released its own latest modelling last week, predicting up to 9,300 deaths across the country by early October if the current trajectory of the epidemic continues.

Ontario reported 554 new cases of COVID-19 on Sept. 29, after marking a record-high of 700 cases a day earlier.

The majority of new cases are in the Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa.