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Projections suggest Ontario already hit peak in COVID-19 pandemic

Health officials say projections suggest COVID-19 has already reached its peak in Ontario. Earlier models had shown community spread of the novel coronavirus would hit peak levels next month.

Officials attribute the numbers, which are being described as positive, to a dedication to maintaining social distancing. “The sacrifices people are making to stay home and wash their hands are making a difference,” reads a power point presented by the provincial government. Hospitalization rates have slowed across Ontario, according to data presented by health officials.

Earlier data shared with the public presented both a worst-case and best-case scenario Ontario could face. The government says when it comes to community spread, this is operating much like a best-case scenario. 

While community spread appears to be slowly getting under control, the numbers paint a dire picture in the province’s long-term care homes, suggesting the situation is growing worse.

In fact, half of all COVID-19 related deaths in the province are said to be in long-term care homes. The facilities have been in crisis with devastating impacts in places like Bobcaygeon. Over the weekend the Almonte Country Haven reported an additional four COVID-19 related deaths, bringing that total up to 23. The long-term care home houses 82 residents.

The government will concentrate its efforts to preventing further spread in long-term care homes. This includes more testing, the training of employees and increasing levels of staffing. Last week the government announced health care workers can only work at one facility at a time.

Some were working part-time hours at two or three locations to make ends meet. Officials said this was causing some staff to inadvertently bring the novel coronavirus into other facilities.

Both the federal and provincial health officials have offered some hope in new projections, but they stress this does not mean we can let up on our efforts. Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, calls this work a marathon, not a sprint. The provincial government offered a similar message, “These actions are making a difference and people need to stay the course and stay strong in order to save lives.”

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