It's becoming increasingly clear that COVID-19 in Ontario is intensifying. Today, the province reported 700 new cases — the highest daily increase to date.

Several cities, including Ottawa, have already declared the start of a second wave. Apparently, the peak might be coming sooner than we think.

According to CBC News, new models from the COVID-19 Modelling Collaborative predict that Ontario's second wave will hit a peak in mid-to-late October.

However, one COVID-19 expert in Toronto has a slightly different theory.

Narcity spoke to Dr. Colin Furness, an infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto, about what to expect in the coming weeks.

Editor's Choice: Parts Of Ontario Will Be Hit With Snow & Chilly Temperatures This Week


Are Ontario's COVID-19 models accurate?

As with all models, Ontario's current COVID-19 models are "wrong," Dr. Furness said to Narcity.

"The conventional wisdom on models is this: all models are wrong; some models are useful.  In other words, they describe what could happen, but not necessarily what will happen," he explained. 

He said that all projections, including his own, are working off of assumptions.

"My own belief is that we will see a substantial rise at the end of October, and that a peak would happen later," he continued.

When will Ontario's COVID-19 cases go up?

Ontario can expect to see a rise in cases after Thanksgiving weekend and as the weather begins to change, Dr. Furness speculates.

"I place [an] emphasis on the impact of Thanksgiving weekend and the much colder weather."

"There are assumptions about how COVID-19 will move from the healthy 20-somethings to their parents and grandparents [at family gatherings], and then through the public."

However, Premier Ford reassured Ontarians that Thanksgiving is still on, as long as you keep your gathering within legal limits.

To double down on holiday safety, Toronto Mayor John Tory has asked residents to consider wearing masks, even while socializing in their own homes.

What does Ontario need to do to flatten the rising curve?

"Closing restaurants to indoor dining and closing bars would really change [the current] trajectory," said Dr. Furness.

He clarifies that the current models, predicting a peak in mid-to-late October, are assuming that additional closures would not be enforced.

"Finally, if at-home saliva tests become widely available, that would be a game-changer in terms of limiting spread, but we don’t know if or when that will happen," he concluded.

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