Omicron is here, and so is Ontario’s new COVID-19 modelling

The government has released new projections that show how the new variant could affect this province
By John Michael McGrath - Published on Dec 16, 2021

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Third doses alone won’t save Ontario from the coming wave of Omicron-related hospitalizations and deaths, according to new modelling from the Ontario COVID-19 Science Table. Rather, in order to keep new daily case counts and intensive-care admissions below the levels last seen in the second and third waves earlier this year, the province may require the implementation of “circuit breaker” public-health measures to reduce social contacts by half while the province implements the recently announced expansion of third doses.

The table emphasizes that there is still too little known about the Omicron variant to be confident that it will have a less severe impact on the health-care system and notes that even if Omicron is only 25 per cent as virulent as Delta, absent new public-health measures, it could still result in nearly 500 ICU admissions before January 1 — well above the province’s stated threshold for where hospitals would need to start withdrawing non-COVID-19 services.

“Although uncertainty persists, waiting for more information will eliminate the opportunity for action,” the presentation concludes.

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Read the full presentation below.

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