Ontario Releases Updated COVID-19 Modelling for Second Wave

Published on September 30, 2020

Modelling Shows Following Public Health Measures Remains Critical to Stop the Spread


News Release

TORONTO — The Ontario government today released updated COVID-19 modelling, which shows the province is experiencing a second surge in cases similar to what other jurisdictions have experienced. The province is providing the public with full transparency about the consequences if Ontarians are not vigilant in adhering to public health measures. The Chief Medical Officer of Health says Ontarians must be vigilant in adhering to public health measures to reduce the number of new cases and the spread of the virus.

Ontario has developed a comprehensive plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, to ensure the health care system is prepared for the immediate challenges of the fall including future surges and waves of COVID-19 and flu season. The plan ensures the province is able to quickly respond to any scenario in order to protect all Ontarians and communities.

"COVID-19 continues to be a serious threat in our communities, and today's modelling shows the importance of adhering to public health measures," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Over the summer we saw how our collective efforts helped slow the transmission of COVID-19, we must not let our guard down now as we head into the cold and flu season. We all need to do our part and continue to follow all public health measures in place to contain and stop the spread of the virus."

Key highlights from the modelling update include:

  • Ontario is currently on an upward trajectory similar to what its peer jurisdictions, including Victoria, Australia and Michigan in the United States, have experienced.
  • Cases are currently doubling approximately every 10 to 12 days.
  • The growth in cases was initially in the 20 to 39 age group but now cases are climbing in all age groups.
  • Forecasting suggests that Ontario could be around 1,000 cases per day in the first half of October.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy is currently steady, but it is predicted that admissions will likely rise with an increase in COVID-19 patients being hospitalized.
  • Ontario may see between 200 and 300 patients with COVID-19 in ICU beds per day if cases continue to grow.
  • In order to reduce the spread and the number of new cases, it remains critical that Ontarians continue to adhere to public health measures, including avoiding large gatherings, physical distancing and wearing a face covering.

"With the recent rise in cases, we limited private social gatherings and tightened public health measures for businesses and organizations to reduce the transmission in our communities," said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "We wanted to release this modelling to be open about the challenges our province faces, and the important work we all need to do to flatten the curve." 

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise if and when public health restrictions need further adjustment, or if a community-specific or region-specific approach should be taken.


Quick Facts

  • To reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, it is critical that all Ontarians continue to follow everyday steps to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission:
    • Staying home when ill or keeping your child home from school when ill, even with mild symptoms;
    • Maintain physical distance by keeping at least two metres from others outside your social circle;
    • Wash hands regularly with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; and
    • Wear a face covering when physical distancing is a challenge or where it is mandatory to do so.
  • Testing is available to those within provincial testing guidance at any of the province’s assessment centres and participating pharmacies. To find your closest assessment centre or pharmacy, please visit ontario.ca/covidtest.
  • For additional protection, the Ontario government is encouraging everyone to download the new COVID Alert app on their smart phone from the Apple and Google Play app stores.

Additional Resources