ontario lockdown end

This is when the lockdown in Ontario could end

"When will Ontario lockdown end?" has been the big question on everyone's mind for weeks now, with the entire province now nearing a month of the most stringent of health measures, and people in the hotspots of Toronto and Peel not having been able to enjoy anything remotely close to normal life in more than eight weeks.

The province's top health official have finally provided a "ballpark" figure of where new daily cases would have to be for the province to consider loosening current restrictions — which are about as prohibitive as they can get.

Ontario Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams gave the figures at a press briefing on Monday, telling the public that "if you get to less than 150 COVID patients in ICU beds, that starts to get you back down to where all the hospitals can start to do their other elective procedures."

And as for daily case counts? "Somewhere around or even below a thousand new cases a day."

The province unfortunately hasn't seen these types of numbers since the end of October and beginning of November.

In fact, aside from the latest data from the last two days, we have seen around or more than 3,000 new infections per day since the beginning of 2021.

And as for the number of novel coronavirus patients admitted to the ICU, that currently sits at 394.

But, this is among a population of 14.5 million people — places like Florida, now considered to be the wild west of the communicable disease, have had as many as 19,378 new patients in one day in the New Year among a moderately larger population of 21.5 million.

Williams did add a bit of hopeful news, saying that based on the latest modelling projections, we're on a far better track right now than we were expected to be if our case growth rate had stayed where it was a week ago.

Mind you, the provincial COVID-19 panel's modelling projections have consistently overestimated future case counts and painted a far more dire picture than what has ended up happening.

There has been a ton of pushback to forced closures and other governmental health measures from everyone ranging from business owners to politicians to everyday citizens.

Retailers and hair salons tried to demonstrate with numbers how their settings contribute very little to virus transmission, while some health professionals are questioning things like the sensitivity of the COVID-19 test, the qualification of a COVID-19 death, and the health risk to the general public (versus the risks of lockdown) given that most deaths are in elderly patients with pre-existing conditions.

In Ontario, a total of 228 people under the age of 60 have died as a result of the virus; 69 per cent of deaths have been in people over 80, while 59 per cent have been among residents of long-term care. Per cent positivity — the proportion of people tested who indeed test positive for the virus — is currently 6.8 per cent.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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