Ontario COVID-19 cases drop ‘sharply’ but delta variant threatens fourth wave, modeling shows – –

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Ontario COVID-19 cases drop ‘sharply’ but delta variant threatens fourth wave, modeling shows – –


TORONTO – COVID-19 cases in Ontario are on the decline, but the highly transmissible delta variant could still cause a fourth wave, new modeling data suggests.

Health officials on Thursday unveiled updated COVID-19 modeling data, which illustrates much better control of the pandemic in Ontario than in previous updates.

According to the modeling, cases are expected to continue to decline for at least the next 10 days in Ontario.

Cases have declined sharply in almost all public health units in recent weeks.

COVID-19-related hospitalizations and intensive care admissions have also declined. If Ontario continues to control COVID-19, modeling suggests intensive care admissions will drop below 200 and normal hospital operations can resume.

But it all depends on the spread of the more transmissible and potentially more dangerous delta variant, officials say.

To avoid a fourth wave, Ontario must ensure full immunization in high-risk communities with two doses of a vaccine.

The delta variant is about 50% more transmissible than the B.1.1.7 variant and will likely be the dominant variant in early summer, according to the modeling.

The first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is less effective in protecting against the delta variant.

A second dose of the vaccine adds 50% effectiveness, officials said.

In the best-case scenario, the daily number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario remains below 500 during the summer.

In an average scenario, that number could rise to almost 1,000 cases per day by August.

In the worst case, cases reached 2,500 per day by mid-August.

Health officials recorded 590 new infections on Thursday, as well as 11 deaths from the new coronavirus.

This is news in development. More soon.

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