Ontario science advisory table set to release new COVID-19 modelling


TORONTO – Ontario’s science advisory table is set to release new modelling today, as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the province.

The province’s chief medical officer of health is also scheduled to provide an update about the COVID-19 situation in Ontario today, in addition to his regular Thursday briefing.

Dr. Kieran Moore will also likely face questions about the Omicron variant, with at least 13 cases detected so far in the province and the London, Ont., area health unit investigating a potential cluster of 30.

Toronto public health officials also said late Monday they are investigating the city’s first school-based case of the variant, at Precious Blood Catholic School.

Ontario’s seven-day average of daily new cases is up to 940, a level not seen since the decline of the third wave in early June.

Officials have said a rise in cases this fall and winter was expected, as the weather gets colder and more activities move indoors.

The science advisory table’s last modelling, released Nov. 12, didn’t make daily case count projections, saying the immediate future was uncertain, though a rise in ICU occupancy since then has been in line with their predictions.

Some local public health units have imposed stricter rules in recent days in light of the rising case counts.

Chatham-Kent Public Health was the latest to announce tighter restrictions, set to take effect Friday. The changes include lower capacity limits for indoor gatherings, with the exception of weddings, funerals and religious services. Those events must, however, ensure that capacity is limited to a number that allows for physical distancing.

The health unit also said employers should allow remote work where reasonably possible to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of the virus.