Ontarians are Beginning to Flatten the Curve, But New Variants Pose Real Risk

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The Ontario Hospital Association is urging Ontarians to continue with the current COVID-19 mitigation protocols.

The COVID-19 modelling figures released today demonstrates that Ontarians are on their way to successfully flattening the curve by the continued adherence to the province’s public health measures. However, despite this positive report, we are not in the clear yet.

Unfortunately, a new and highly contagious variant of COVID-19, B. 1. 1. 7, is now circulating in Ontario, putting the province’s critical care capacity at risk once again. The rate at which this variant rapidly spread throughout Roberta Place in Barrie shows the devastating and unforgiving toll that this variant can take.

At this stage of the pandemic, with health care workers exhausted and minimal surge capacity left in the system, we must not lose our focus. Almost 25 per cent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, and more than half of ICUs across the province are full or have only one or two beds left.

On January 28th, Ontario added 2,093 COVID-19 positive cases reported and 56 deaths.

Anthony Dale, President and CEO, Ontario Hospital Association said, “The steps taken in recent weeks have not been easy, but they have been essential to protecting the province’s finite health system capacity. On behalf of the province’s hospitals, I’d like to thank every Ontarian for their continued adherence to public health measures and for the significant sacrifices being made each day. We also appreciate the ongoing leadership and guidance of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, which has kept the OHA informed of evolving public health risks throughout this difficult and unparalleled year.”