Ontario will see rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations even without Omicron variant, modelling suggests

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Ontario will continue to rise substantially, even without the Omicron variant, if vaccinations do not increase and further public health measures are not implemented, new modelling data released by the province’s science table suggests.

Experts with the province released new modelling data on Tuesday, revealing that even without spread from the new Omicron variant, intensive care unit occupancy will likely grow to 250-400 beds in January, putting hospitals under strain again.

They also noted that the spread of the Omnicom variant will likely drive COVID-19 cases above their current projections.

At least 13 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected so far in the province and the London, Ont. area health unit is 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.

This is a breaking news story. More to come…

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