COVID-19 infections in Ontario appear to have plateaued: head of science table
Published Wednesday, April 13, 2022 9:26PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, April 14, 2022 10:45AM EDT
The number of new COVID-19 infections in Ontario appears to have slowed, according to the head of the province's science table.
Speaking with CP24 Wednesday evening, Dr. Peter Jüni, the scientific director of the table, said the latest wastewater data shows that the province may have plateaued at 100,000 COVID-19 cases per day.
"We see that it has plateaued. Perhaps it could go down. But it's important not to get ahead of ourselves," Jüni said.
He warned that there is still a possibility that cases could rise again, especially after the Easter weekend.
"We know we slowed down. Is this now a plateau, and we stay on a high plateau? Do we go up again, especially after Easter? It will depend on us. Or do we start to go down? We need to have a few more days of data to be a bit more confident, but by all means, it looks much better than six, seven days ago," he said.
Last week, Jüni said the province was likely seeing between 100,000 and 120,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day. Ontario is currently in its sixth wave of the pandemic, driven by the transmissible BA.2 Omicron sub-variant.
On Wednesday, Ontario reported 13 net new COVID-19 deaths and 1,332 people in hospital with the virus.
Jüni noted the slowdown could be attributed to several things, including accumulated immunity through vaccination and infection. He estimated about six million Ontarians have been infected with Omicron since December last year.
He also said the weather played a factor, noting that mobility data shows that people were outdoors more, where transmission is believed to be lower.
Jüni added that he also heard that more people have been taking steps to protect themselves from COVID-19.
"I heard from quite a lot of colleagues that people have had a more careful behaviour with more masking, less crowding, etc.," he said.
Looking ahead to the long weekend, Jüni urged those celebrating Easter to do it outdoors if the weather permits.
"This will help tremendously," he said. "Go to parks and enjoy an early barbecue. Much better than indoors."
"So I'm glad about this plateau, but I would be even more thrilled if we all were a bit careful for a few more weeks," he added.
The science table is expected to release new COVID-19 modelling Thursday at 1 p.m.