Dr. Peter Donnelly, President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, addresses a media briefing on COVID-19 provincial modelling in Toronto, Friday, April 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Dr. Peter Donnelly, President and CEO of Public Health Ontario, addresses a media briefing on COVID-19 provincial modelling in Toronto, Friday, April 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Projections show between 3,000 and 15,000 could die from COVID-19 in Ontario

Dr. Peter Donnelly, say data paint a stark picture of the gravity of the situation facing the province

The steps the Ontario government has taken so far to limit the spread of COVID-19 have likely saved tens of thousands of lives, public health officials said Friday, but even with further action the death toll could reach as high as 15,000.

Projections released by the province showed 100,000 Ontario residents could likely have died over the full course of the pandemic if the province hadn’t implemented measures such as widespread closures of businesses and schools in order to promote physical distancing.

As it is, the figures estimate thousands of people could still die without more aggressive measures in place.

Dr. Peter Donnelly, president of Public Health Ontario, said the data paint a stark picture of the gravity of the situation facing the province — and the need for ongoing action.

“If we do everything that we can think of — everything that already has been done stays in place, all of the other measures that are being considered put in place — then I think we could reduce the death toll in Ontario to somewhere between 3,000 and 15,000,” he said. “Where we end up depends on all of us.”

According to the projections, Ontario would have seen 300,000 cases of COVID-19 by the end of April had nothing been done. Current measures in place will likely bring that number down to 80,000, while further measures could lower it to 12,500.

Similarly, the number of deaths would have hit 6,000 by month’s end with no measures, Donnelly said. Staying the course is projected to reduce the death toll by April 30 to 1,600, and keep it as low as 200 with even tighter restrictions than are now in place.

Donnelly and other officials offered suggestions for such measures. Those included reducing the list of essential businesses that are currently allowed to operate, imposing entry restrictions on some communities including First Nations, providing more protection for seniors and tightening guidance on physical distancing.

Donnelly said the projections, which are far from set in stone, span the full course of the outbreak. He said that could last as long as 18 months to two years if second and third waves of the virus are considered.

The number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Ontario continued their upward trajectory on Friday, though those figures were eclipsed by the surge in cases that are now considered resolved.

The province reported 462 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to 3,255. Deaths climbed by 14 for a total of 67 provincewide.

Those figures did not include four new deaths at a central Ontario nursing home, the scene of one of the largest outbreaks in the country.

Twenty of the roughly 65 residents of Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., have died in recent weeks. At least 24 staff members at the facility have also tested positive for COVID-19.

The province has reported numerous outbreaks at long-term care facilities across Ontario.

But the number of resolved cases also surged significantly, climbing more than 30 per cent to 1,023 from 831 on Thursday.

Michelle McQuigge and Shawn Jeffords, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
Surrey child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

Trucks line up for food during a drive-thru event on the PNE grounds last May. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)
Drive-thru food truck fest coming to North Surrey Secondary lot

School a ‘great location – high traffic, very visible, and a very large parking lot’

White Rock has voted to bring two resolutions before the Union of B.C. Municipalities aimed at improving police response to mental health crises. (File photo)
White Rock resolutions aim to limit police involvement in mental health crises

City seeks support from UBCM, and individual municipalities

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl: Surrey RCMP

Evidence seized from commercial warehouse in Port Coquitlam

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

FILE – RCMP (Black Press Media photo)
Man dead, 2 others injured in another suspected gang shooting in the Lower Mainland

Shots rang out at a busy parking lot at Market Crossing in Burnaby at about 8:35 p.m. Thursday

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at Maple Ridge School’s main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Most Read