The second week of January has seen Ontario reporting a new single-day record of 3,945 Covid-19 cases, and 61 new Covid-19 related deaths as the province’s cumulative death toll approaches 5,000.
The case count on January 10, surpassed the previous record set the previous day with 3,443 new infections.
Of the numbers logged on January 10 by Health Minister Christine Elliott, 1,160 new cases were found in Toronto, 641 in Peel, 357 in York Region, 223 in Windsor-Essex County, and 220 in Waterloo Region.
“This has been a significant week for us,” said Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, at a press conference on January 6. He noted that Ontario had seen a 23 per cent increase in the number of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people in a matter of a week, something he deemed alarming.
Premier Doug Ford skirted around the idea of a possible public curfew at a briefing on Friday morning as the province passed the 200,000 mark of active Covid-19 cases.
In an effort to help curb the spread of the disease, he had previously imposed a province-wide lockdown on December 26 but has recently noted that the lockdown “won’t end at the end of January” as the provincial government considers more drastic measures.
“We are in a crisis… it is scary, and we need to work together,” he continued, adding that the new Covid-19 modelling plan would be released on January 11 or 12.
Premier Ford warned residents that the data would be so shocking they would “fall off their chairs” upon its release. However, he did not specify what any of the additional measures would look like.
Speaking alongside Premier Doug Ford, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffe said Friday’s numbers were, without reserve, terrifying.
“We have more and more people hospitalized, more and more people in ICU, more and more people on ventilators,” she stated. “The hospitals are starting to have to cut back on elective surgeries and other very important procedures that require ICU care.”
Yaffe shared that she believes more forceful measures are necessary at this time, similar to the comprehensive lockdown in spring 2020. The province is currently looking at what other jurisdictions have done to prevent the spread of the disease, focusing on what has worked so “we can get ourselves out of this with the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In a national address from Rideau Cottage on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that the state of the pandemic is “frightening” as cases continue to rise at home and around the world every day.
The Prime Minister implored Ontarians to take the necessary public health measures to keep themselves and others safe. Like Ford, Trudeau asked residents to continue to stay home, avoid gatherings with people outside their household, wear a mask, physically distance, and wash their hands.