With the number of new COVID-19 cases trending down, the Province has begun discussing reopening certain businesses and having students return to in-person learning.
However, with cases still consistently in the four-digit range, Ontario’s health care workers are urging politicians to consider ruthless action if it’s necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
According to a release from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), hospitals are still at capacity—more than 20 per cent of open intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied by patients diagnosed with the virus, and more than half of ICUs in Ontario are either completely full or very close to it.
Additionally, with new, more contagious variants of the virus popping up across the province, new data suggests cases could be as high as 6,000 per day by the spring.
“In determining whether or not it is safe to remove the Stay-at-Home order on February 16 for 28 public health units or February 22 for Toronto, Peel and York, the province must carefully review public health evidence and err on the side of caution,” Anthony Dale, president and CEO of the OHA, said in the release.
Further, according to Dale, 21 of 34 health units have at least one of three indicators—40 cases per 100,000 people, a test positivity rate of at least 2.5 per cent, or a reproduction number that’s 1.2 or greater.
“Returning to piecemeal, PHU by PHU decision-making will result only in Ontario losing the hard-fought gains we have made over the past several weeks,” he added.