COVID-19 cases in Ontario's hot spots will start to decline in next week or two, health minister claims
Published Wednesday, October 21, 2020 4:02PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 21, 2020 4:08PM EDT
As the daily number of new COVID-19 cases in Ontario’s hot spots remain high, the province’s health minister believes that new infections will begin to taper off in “the next week or two.”
Christine Elliott made the comments on Wednesday as the province announced a $24.3 million investment in mental health services for children and youth.
“What we expect to see in the next while, the next week or two, will be a reduction in the number of cases,” Elliott said.
Elliot’s comments came in a response to a question about the efficacy of the government’s modified Stage 2 restrictions that were placed upon Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa earlier this month.
The new restrictions, which include the closure of indoor dining, gyms and movie theatres in those areas (as well as York Region, more recently) were put in place by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19.
But a quick look at the province’s daily reporting of new COVID-19 cases will show that case numbers in those areas are actually higher in recent days, with the exception of Ottawa, than in the week leading up to the new health measures that went into effect on Oct. 10.
For example, Toronto recorded an average of 244 new cases per day in the week before the restrictions came into place. In the past seven days, the city recorded an average of 273 new cases per day, which represents an increase of 29 more cases daily.
Similarly, in Peel Region there were an average of 108 cases per day before the restrictions were imposed. In the last seven days, the region is reporting an average of 142 cases per day, marking an increase of 34 new daily cases.
But Elliot says that doesn’t mean the restrictions aren’t working.
“No, it doesn’t mean that at all. It takes a period of time after the measures are put into place before you’re going to see those results,” she said “Because what you’re seeing daily now is a result of infections that may have happened five days to a week ago.”
Elliott went on to say that she has “evidence” that suggests that cases will in fact go down in the aforementioned time frame, however she did not provide any additional details.
CTV News Toronto has reached out to the Ministry of Health in hopes of obtaining said evidence.