covid ontario

COVID-19 numbers in Ontario are not yet falling as much as officials had hoped

There seem to be some mixed messages in Ontario right now as far as the coronavirus situation is concerned.

The state of emergency has just been extended, but stores like the LCBO are expanding their opening hours. Case numbers and death counts are still not consistently lowering day-over-day like the province indicated they had to be for things to re-open, but Premier Doug Ford is promising good news regarding lockdown restrictions, which he says will be over sooner than we thought.

Following the single lowest one-day increase in more than three weeks last Wednesday and then the lowest in four weeks on Sunday, numbers are on the rise again, albeit ever so slightly and in the wake of increased testing.

The province confirmed 434 new cases of COVID-19 on May 3 and then 370 on May 4 following a spike of more than 500 on May 2, but ever since this drop, numbers have been rising marginally instead of going down.

Another 387 new cases were announced on May 5 and today, another 412. Sixty-eight more fatalities were also confirmed today, up from 61 yesterday

Though we are on a general downward trend and these jumps are not substantial, they aren't in line with the "consistent two-to-four-week decrease in the number of new daily COVID‑19 cases" that the province has listed as a criterion in its framework for reopening the economy.

It also means we aren't yet hitting the goal of fewer than 200 new cases per day that Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams said he was hoping to reach.

"While it's coming down slowly, it's having its ups and downs, and we'd like to see it progressing even quicker," Williams said at a media briefing on May 2.

"We're not yet disrupting community transmission adequately at this time, so we want to stick to the task... we would like to see that [daily case count] come down quit considerably, well below 200, heading down to get our transmission rate well below one."

Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa expressed a similar sentiment during her press conference on May 5, saying that though "COVID-19 activity is slowing down" in Toronto, the city has yet to see a steady fall in daily new case or hospitalization numbers, which puts a hold on things getting back to something resembling normal.

The mix of both positive and negative messages from officials about COVID-19 is because of the fact that, simply, there are both good and bad stats and trends revealing themselves daily.

For example, though case counts are no longer lessening day-over-day and are currently more than double Dr. Williams' target, newly resolved cases today outnumber new illnesses, and fewer people have consistently been documented as being in the ICU and on ventilators for multiple days now.

So far, Ontario has seen 18,722 cases of the infectious disease, with 13,222 of these considered resolved. A total of 1,429 residents have died as a result of the health crisis, 1,074 of them in long-term care facilities.

Lead photo by

Fareen Karim

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