New Modelling Data Has Been Released – Full COVID-19 Update

New Modelling Data Has Been Released – Full COVID-19 Update

Ontario’s COVID-19 science table says people in the province need to cut their personal contacts by half to blunt the impact of the Omicron variant. They claim ICU admissions could exceed 600 by New Year’s Eve and new cases could rise to 10,000 a day by Christmas, without new public health measures. The co-chair of the province’s science advisory table says Ontario is facing what will likely be the hardest wave of the pandemic fuelled by the Omicron variant. Dr. Adalsteinn Brown says an accelerated booster campaign and capacity restrictions on large venues won’t be enough to keep the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed. He’s calling for circuit breaker measures that cut people’s contacts in half, but says vaccinated family members can gather at the holidays as long as they are careful.

Long Lines for Free Rapid Tests:

Long line-ups were reported as the province’s rapid test blitz began yesterday. The Ontario government says it’s making millions of rapid tests available for free at pop-up sites across the province. One man who went to a pop-up site in Hamilton and joined a lineup of a few hundred people, was told the site had run out of tests in less than half an hour. A woman who got some free rapid tests at work says she passed a pop-up site in downtown Toronto where it looked like several hundred people were in line.

Trudeau Issues a Warning:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the choices Canadians make over the next week or two will determine just how bad the pandemic will be over the rest of the winter. Speaking with The Canadian Press during a year-end roundtable interview, Trudeau says the actions taken over the holidays will impact how overwhelmed the health system is, the hit to the economy and how many people die from the virus in the new year. Meanwhile, Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, wrote in an annual report on the state of Canada’s public health that the pandemic has exposed long-standing cracks in the system.

New Research On J & J:

U.S. health officials now say most Americans should get the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines, instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot. The reason: a clotting problem that’s caused nine deaths among those taking the J&J vaccine. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend Pfizer and Moderna vaccines over the J&J dose because of the potential clotting issue. The CDC advisers also say Pfizer and Moderna are more effective than J&J’s vaccine. Until now, the U.S. had said all three COVID-19 vaccines available to Americans were an equal choice.

Ontario Numbers:

The number of new COVID-19 cases increased by roughly a third yesterday, to 2,421. That was the highest daily tally since mid-May. The province also recorded nine more deaths from the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 165 people are in intensive care units due to COVID-19. That’s 11 more than Tuesday.

Waterloo Region / Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Numbers:

Waterloo Region Public Health says there were 121 new cases yesterday and 1 new death. That brings the local toll to 312. There are now 582 active cases and still 12 people hospitalized and just 4 of them are in the ICU. 

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health reported 52 new cases yesterday. There are now 266 active cases and still 6 people hospitalized. 

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: CPAC via YouTube screenshot

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