COVID-19 Numbers= Cautious Optimism

By: Laura Steiner/ Editor

There is a lot of badly-needed cautious optimism going around Ontario’s fight with COVID-19 right now. The province stands ready to proceed to phase two which would include the reopening of more offices, and an increase on the number of people allowed to gather from five.

The rolling weekly average in Ontario this week is 371 new cases. Today there were 344 new cases, bringing the running total to 29,747 since January 25 with 2,372 dead. 82% of those have been in long-term care homes. Hospitalizations (749), patients in ICU (118), and on a ventilator (94) are all on the decrease. On a provincial level, it looks like things are beginning to stabilize.

The province has opened the door to reopening on a region-by-region basis. This makes Halton numbers more critical. To-date Halton municipalities account for 666 confirmed cases. The highest community being Oakville with 221, and the lowest Halton Hills at 141. Milton stands at 178 confirmed cases, and Burlington 125. The Region also records an additional 71 “probable cases,” with Milton sitting at 14.

There are zero institutional outbreaks, which is in itself is something to celebrate. But it also may represent a shift towards a potential increase in community transmission. The Region’s surveillance report from early April records 27% of cases from the community. As of June 3, that number has increased to 45%. Taking into account the increase in cases, that’s not too surprising, but it is something that should temper the optimism given the that the institutional outbreaks have been cleared.

I get it. It’s exciting that in some ways we’re close to regaining some of our conveniences. Milton has reopened parks, and as of this weekend multipurpose courts, and skateparks. Businesses are starting to discover a new normal with the Farmer’s Market, curbside service, and physical distancing. Are we going the right direction? Yes. But it’s going to be a little longer yet.