Ontario could see 3,000 cases, 400 in ICU in Jan even without new variant

kieran moore cp

Ontario could see up to 3,000 daily COVID-19 infections and close to 400 patients in intensive case by mid-January even without accounting for the Omicron variant.

The new projections released today from the province's science advisers note that the new variant's impact could be "substantial,'' though its characteristics aren't yet known.

The COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says public health measures and increased vaccination are needed to reduce virus transmission as cases rise in most public health units.

The group says infections could hit up to 3,000 daily if residents maintain their current behaviour and 30 per cent of children aged five to 11 are vaccinated by the end of December.

Another scenario with maintained current behaviour and 50 per cent of young children vaccinated projects 1,750 daily cases by mid-January and 300 hospitalized patients in intensive care.

A third scenario with a 15 per cent decrease in transmission through more public health measures pegs the mid-January daily case count at just over 1,000 and 250 patients in intensive care.

The science table says intensive care occupancy will also increase over the next month, "likely exceeding'" 250 patients by the end of this month without the Omicron variant, which is already detected in the province.