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Here's How Low Ontario's COVID-19 Cases Need To Be To Lift Lockdown

Ontario's top health official has provided an estimate.

Weeks into a provincewide shutdown, health officials believe "it is achievable" for Ontario to get back to a place where measures can be lifted.

On Monday afternoon, Dr. David Williams said that Ontario's lockdown could be lifted when the province sees no more than around 1,000 cases per day, like back in the fall.

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The end of October. That was only a few months ago so we can get back there, I believe. Dr. David Williams

He added that ICU capacities across the province would need to drop from 400 to about 150, which would allow elective procedures to resume. 

Williams noted that these are "ballpark figures" and not exact milestones.

This estimate is based on the current percentage of COVID-19 patients admitted to ICU in the second wave. 

Williams is optimistic, saying that it wasn't very long ago that Ontario was reporting around or below 1,000 new infections each day, in late October and early November.

On Monday morning, hours before Dr. Williams spoke, the province reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19.

The 7-day rolling average of cases on Tuesday is a little bit higher, at 2,893 cases per day.

Williams said that it seems daily cases seem to be hitting a plateau in the 3,000 range and that the positive percentage rate in Ontario is showing signs of dropping.

Last week, Premier Doug Ford issued both a provincial state-of-emergency and stay-at-home orders.

According to Biostatician Ryan Imgrund, there's evidence that Ontario's lockdown is working after it began on December 26. 

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