Less than 24 hours after their Chief Medical Office of Health said he was “seeing a good direction" in COVID cases, Ontarians have been hit with another daily case high.
On Friday, 1,855 people were identified as infected with the novel coronavirus. Twenty people died from COVID-19 in the past day.
Ontario's public health effort to use COVID-19 testing and contact tracing to identify and isolate those with the virus was overwhelmed in early October. Ontario has since seen large and sustained case count growth.
The City of Toronto publicly revealed on October 6 that its test, trace and isolate resources had been overwhelmed and it had ended contract tracing. That day, 548 COVID-19 cases were identified by public health.
Also on October 6, Ontario’s Conservative Premier Doug Ford told Ontarians that with his policies “we are flattening the curve.” Since then, daily cases have increased by almost 350 per cent.
Two weeks ago, the Ontario Hospital Association and Ontario Medical Association condemned a Ontario government plan to further remove public health restriction, raising concerns that continued unchecked viral growth would soon overwhelm hospital capacity.
This Monday, more than six weeks after the public health collapse, the Ontario government implemented actions to slow viral transmission, closing bars, restaurants and other workplaces in the most hard-hit areas of the province.
Those actions may take up to a further two weeks to appear in daily case counts.
Earlier this week, the Ontario Conservative government and its Chief Medical Office of Health, Dr. David Williams, received a damning report from the Ontario Auditor-General that said Ontario had moved slower than other provinces to address the fast-moving virus. The report raised specific concerns about the pace of issuing public health directives for long term care and expanding lab resources to process tests.
The Ontario Premier has condemned the report, saying the Auditor-General doesn’t have medical expertise.