Projected number of cases and deaths can be significantly reduced if people stay home
TORONTO - Today, the Ontario government released extensive COVID-19 modelling, revealing several scenarios that project the potential number of cases and deaths. In doing so, the province is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences should everyone but non-essential workers fail to stay home and practise physical distancing.
"The models show that the potential to spread COVID-19 is massive and deadly if we don't act swiftly to stay home and practise physical distancing," said Premier Ford. "We owe it to our frontline and essential workers, to our family, friends and neighbours to restrict our travel, and act responsibly. This is the only way we are going to minimize the risk to people, stop the spread and reduce the number of fatalities."
Key highlights from the modelling include:
- While COVID-19 impacts Ontarians of all ages, those over the age of 60 face higher risk of severe disease leading to higher mortality rates. The data demonstrates the need to focus public health measures on protecting seniors.
- Had Ontario taken no action, the impact of COVID-19 would have risen to an estimated 300,000 cases and an estimated death toll of 6,000 people.
- Due to timely public health measures, Ontario has avoided much more dire impacts, preventing an estimated 220,000 cases and 4,400 deaths to date.
- Over the course of the pandemic, between 3,000 and 15,000 deaths related to COVID-19 are predicted with current public health measures in place, compared to a total projected 100,000 deaths if no action were taken.
- By taking further measures, Ontario can further reduce the number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 down to projections as low as 12,500 additional cases and 200 additional deaths by the end of April.
- Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results. By offering faster and secure access to test results on their computer or mobile device, this portal will help ease pressures on public health units and frontline workers to provide this information so that they can better focus on containing COVID-19.
- On March 30, 2020, Dr. Williams issued a statement to strongly encourage Ontarians to stay home, limit the number of essential trips and adhere to physical distancing.
- If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
- Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and protect your health: Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; Sneeze and cough into your sleeve; Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; Avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.