COVID-19: Tory “very concerned” about new police powers; Ontario modelling predicts 30,000 daily cases by May

Toronto reports a record single-day increase in a cases as hospitalizations hit a new high

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Toronto reports record-high single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases

6:50 pm Toronto Public Health reported a daily increase of 1,527 new COVID-19 cases on Friday afternoon, the highest single-day rise in the city since the start of the pandemic.

There are now 813 people hospitalized in Toronto, an increase of 71 since the previous day. Officials said the vaccination campaign in the city is not keeping pace with the spread of variants.

“Hospitalization rates in Toronto are the highest on record and are expected to increase,” the city said in a statement. “Without strengthened public health measures, data analysis and projections indicate it will take until late summer to reduce new case counts. It is imperative that all people in Toronto stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when leaving the house and practise physical distancing with anyone not from the same household.”

The city also said it will review the new restrictions announced by Premier Doug Ford earlier today to determine impact on city services. Additionally, the city is reviewing Ford’s pledge to direct 25 per cent of Ontario’s vaccine supply to hot spots to assess how the move will impact Toronto’s vaccine push.

Mayor John Tory said he is “very concerned” about beefed up police powers that will allow officers to stop people and vehicles and ask for proof of home address.

“City staff are carefully reviewing the new provincial measures announced today and we will have more to say in the days ahead,” Tory said in a statement. “I am very concerned about arbitrary stops of people by police at any time and I will be reviewing the regulations extremely carefully and discussing them with the Medical Officer of Health and the Toronto Police Chief.”

Since the start of the pandemic there have been a total of 130,502 cases of COVID-19 in the city and 2,900 COVID-19 deaths.

Ontario could see 30,000 cases per day in May without stricter measures: modelling

1:30 pm Modelling projections presented on Friday by the Ontario science advisory table show the province could experience up to 30,000 new COVID-19 cases per day by the end of May without stricter measures.

In the best-case scenario, the province’s curve would flatten around 5,000 cases or less over the next six-weeks assuming Ontario continues doing at least 100,000 vaccinations per day.

“Without stronger system-level measures and immediate support for essential workers and high-risk communities, high case rates will persist through the summer,” said Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the science table and head of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Brown added that the vaccine rollout must be “laser-focused” on high-risk areas, as people who need the vaccination the most are not receiving it fast enough. “Vaccination is not reaching people at high risk fast enough to overcome the level of serious risk in our communities and our hospitals,” he added.

He said only essential workplaces should be open right now, essential workplaces should be kept safe with enforcement and essential workers should receive extra financial support so they can stay home when sick.

In the last two weeks, Ontario has seen a 67 percent growth in hospitalizations and 51 per cent growth in ICU occupancy. Stronger measures are need to prevent Ontario’s ICU beds from reaching full capacity in the next four weeks, even with 100,000 doses of vaccine administered daily.

There are approximately 2,300 ICU beds in Ontario. As of today, there were 701 patients in intensive care.

Highly contagious variants of concern now comprise over 70 per cent of Ontario’s cases and the majority of those are the B117 variant.

Brown said there are three things Ontarians can do to help limit spread:

  • Don’t spend time with people indoors and if you need to do essential tasks indoors, like shop for groceries or take public transit, wear a mask;
  • Meet people who live outside your household outside and stay six feet away if can’t wear a mask;
  • Get vaccinated when it’s your turn and wait when it’s not your turn.

Ontario reports record-high 4,812 new COVID-19 cases

Ontario is reporting 4,812 new cases of COVID-19 on April 16 and 25 additional deaths, the second consecutive day the province has reported an all-time case count high.

The number of intensive care unit patients has now passed the 700 mark. With 39,977 total active cases, there are 1,955 people hospitalized and 701 patients in ICUs – the highest number since the pandemic began. That includes 480 people on ventilators.

There are approximately 2,300 total intensive care unit beds in all of Ontario.

The province is reporting a seven-day rolling average of 4,292. Ontario detected 4,736 new cases on Thursday, 4,156 on Wednesday and 3,670 on Tuesday.

Medical albs completed 64,304 tests in the past 24 hours, marking a positivity rate of 7.5 per cent.

Two of the deaths reported today were people between the ages of 40 and 59.

Ontario’s science advisory table is releasing new modelling data at 1 pm today and Premier Doug Ford will hold a news conference at 2:30 pm.

On Thursday, Ontario’s Associate Medical Officer of Health Barbara Yaffe said the situation in the province is “dire” and case counts and hospitalizations are expected to increase in the weeks ahead thanks to highly contagious variants of concern. She added the public health officials are looking bringing in new restrictions to reduce mobility in the province.

Michael Warner, the medical director of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, said on Twitter today that ICU doctors will be “forced to decide who lives and who dies once triage become the only option.”

“I cannot see a situation where some degree of ICU triage does not happen in Ontario,” he wrote. “Demand will outstrip supply of staffed beds. In addition to being cruel and unfair to our future patients, this will break the back of health-care workers.”

The GTA continued to report the most new cases on Friday.

“Locally, there are 1,469 new cases in Toronto, 851 in Peel, 491 in York Region, 366 in Ottawa and 268 in Durham,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said.

The province is reporting 2,897 more confirmed cases of the B117 variant, four more cases of the B1351 variant and 11 more P1 cases.

The province has administered 115,634 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, bringing the total across Ontario to 3,664,038 doses and 341,933 people fully vaccinated.

To date, Ontario has seen 408,383 total COVID-19 cases across the province and 7,664 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases in Ontario on April 16

The following regions reported five or more new COVID-19 cases:

Toronto = 1,469

Peel = 851

York Region = 491

Ottawa = 366

Durham Region = 268

City of Hamilton = 204

Niagara Region = 192

Halton Region = 175

Middlesex-London = 123

Simcoe Muskoka District = 101

Windsor-Essex County = 74

Region of Waterloo = 61

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph = 60

Eastern Ontario = 56

Brant County = 50

Haldimand-Norfolk = 44

Southwestern = 30

Peterborough = 28

Grey Bruce = 24

Porcupine = 23

Sudbury & Districts = 20

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington = 15

Hastings Prince Edward = 13

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District = 13

Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge = 13

Lambton = 12

Renfrew County and District = 8

Northwestern = 7

Algoma = 7

Thunder Bay District = 6


Comments (1)

  • Joe andely April 17, 2021 01:13 PM

    Ford has failed to deal with the facts that there is a vaccine delay because Canada does not produce any and take appropriate actions to deal with the spread of the virus in the interim. Instead he has had his head in the sand but more disgustingly it appears to be a conscious decision to ignore what he needs to do which is not a police state but getting all people such as workers who must interact with others daily vaccinated because they are the spreaders. Others such as seniors could have waited out at home where they were safe. His plan has been flawed from the beginning.

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