The province has just laid bare the potential impact of the novel coronavirus. Health staff just released their most recent statistical predictions and it looks like this pandemic is far from over. During a news conference at Queen's Park on April 3, Dr. Peter Donnelly, the president and CEO of Public Health Ontario, announced that COVID-19 in Ontario could last up to two years.
Dr. Donnelly was joined on Friday by Matthew Anderson, the president and CEO of Ontario Health, and Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
The meeting was held in order to talk about what impact the virus could have on the province.
Dr. Donnelly gave a prediction about just how long the devastating crisis could continue, warning it could stretch to "18 months or two years."
"The projection by Public Health Ontario, which is in line with that of other highly credible models, says that over the full course of this pandemic, which may last 18 months or two years, had we done nothing, Ontario may have suffered 100,000 deaths," said Dr. Donnelly during the news conference.
Thanks to the province's health response, such a large toll has been avoided. However, staff did warn that even with the current measures in place, between 3,000 and 15,000 Ontarians could die during the entire pandemic.
The data, which highlights the course and progression of the pandemic as well as its future impact, were created by Public Health Ontario and university researchers.
Though the province has made numerous efforts to stop the spread of the virus, provincial health staff warned of grim results if stronger measures aren't enacted.
Dr. Donnelly added: "We believe that if we can do all that we can, we can get a much better end result for the province... There is a range because where we end up depends on all of us."
There was some apparent good news on that front on Friday, as a Google mobility report suggests the provincial population is increasingly getting the message and staying away from public areas in recent weeks.
And, if the province wants to stress anything in particular right now in light of these models, it's that social distancing is as important as ever.
As of Friday morning, Ontario had 3,255 confirmed cases, with 1,023 resolved and 67 deaths.