Ontario to hit peak in number of Omicron cases by end of January
Ontario’s health minister, Christine Elliott, indicated that Ontario will reach its peak in the number of Omicron variant cases of Covid-19 in the next two coming weeks.
“We expect that this will peak in the third, fourth week of January, with the first and second week of February for ICUs,” Elliott said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We’re following it very carefully.”
The minister of health said that Ontario has 600 ICU beds available in hospitals at this point and can also arrange 500 more beds if needed.
Matthew Anderson, the CEO of Ontario Health, added to the statement that the good news is at this point of peak in the pandemic, the rate of increase in hospitalization is decreasing.
Anderson further added that absenteeism of staff is a major strain on Ontario’s health system right now.
To reduce the strain, the Ontario government is going to deploy international graduate nurses to hospitals and health care centres by collaborating with Ontario Health and the College of Nurses of Ontario. About 1200 candidates have expressed their interest in this, and matching the jobs with healthcare providers will begin later this week.
Elliott and Anderson also talked about resuming in-person classes, which are going to start from January 17.
“The data suggests that being back in school does not drive up the cases for our kids and what we need to monitor really is absenteeism for our teachers and for the kids coming back to school,” said Anderson. “But certainly the risk from community spread, it will have absenteeism challenges in the schools.”