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Just days into Ontario’s stay-at-home order, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, said that as a “ballpark” figure, the province needs to see 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, or less, to lift lockdown measures.
“Knowing the different numbers and percents that usually get admitted to a hospital, our current rates in the second wave, and how many of those end up in ICU, you’ll get a general sense that you’ve got to get below, somewhere around or below a thousand new cases a day,” Dr. Williams said.
Ontario reported 2,578 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. Cases were regularly below 1,000 a day in October 2020, with one spike at 1,042 on Oct. 25, and totalling over 1,000 again on Oct. 31, at 1,015 cases. On Nov. 6, 2020 COVID-19 cases started rising, consistently over 1,000, escalating to a peak of 4,249 cases on Jan. 8.
Dr. Williams also said there needs to be fewer than 150 COVID-19 patient in hospital intensive care units. There are currently 1,571 people with COVID-19 in Ontario hospitals, including 394 people in ICUs. Ontario first exceeded 150 people with COVID-19 in ICUs on Nov. 23, 2020.
“It is achievable, we can get back there,” Dr. Williams said, stressing that hospitalizations and ICU admissions lag behind new cases being identified.