Vaccinations alone won’t save us. That, in short, is why the modelling presented Thursday morning at Queen’s Park has informed the decision by Ontario’s cabinet, reported by numerous other media outlets, to announce a new provincewide lockdown later today.
The modelling presented at Queen’s Park by the University of Toronto’s Adalsteinn Brown shows that vaccinations alone will only moderately reduce the number of new infections by the end of April. A two-week lockdown will bend the curve back down, but cases will start climbing again by the end of the month. But, if the modelling is correct, a four-week stay-at-home order will reduce cases further – albeit not much further than Ontario saw in mid-February.
Much of the presentation reiterates familiar points from previous briefings: the COVID-19 variants of concern are both more infectious and more likely to hospitalize or kill; the province’s intensive-care units are already overloaded and cannot handle the hundreds of new patients that the pandemic will generate; the province’s surgical-care backlog continues to grow. VOC spread has caused a surge of younger patients in the province's ICUs, and people under 60 now make up almost half of all patients.
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The presentation, prepared by the science table, emphasizes that the vaccinations administered by the province to date have not reached the highest-risk workers, those deemed essential to the province’s economy.
The presentation also stresses that school closures are highly disruptive and inequitable and should be avoided if at all possible.
Read the full presentation below.