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A new coronavirus model released by the Ontario government on Thursday suggested that the province could be experiencing up to 6,000 new coronavirus cases per day by mid-December.
The 6,000 figure represents worst-case scenario, however, with other data suggesting the province will likely be experiencing closer to 3,000 cases per day by that point.
The model also shows that Ontario will likely exceed its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity within two weeks. ICUs in Ontario have a capacity limit of 150, while the model predicts that in the worst-case scenario, ICUs could be treating up to 400 people by Christmas.
Case counts in Ontario have been increasing dramatically in recent weeks, with 1,575 new cases being reported on Thursday, the highest daily uptick on record thus far. The increase in cases comes in spite of stricter lockdown measures implemented by the province at the beginning of October.
Coronavirus cases have been rising dramatically in nations across the northern hemisphere with some experts arguing that the rise in cases is linked to colder temperatures driving people indoors where the virus spread more easily.
Some critics warn that the model may be downplaying the threat of the virus, as modelling data from October predicted between 800-1,200 new cases through the month of November. Such predictions have been greatly surpassed, with some blaming the Ford's government easing of restrictions on businesses in COVID-19 hotspots.
Others, however, question the usefulness of lockdowns in preventing the spread of coronavirus. Lockdowns have been connected to skyrocketing deaths caused by drug overdoses, and cases in Ontario have risen dramatically in spite of the lockdowns put in place by the Ford government.
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