Frightening scenarios face Ontario as COVID numbers soar and vaccine supply dries up


Published January 8, 2021 at 4:29 pm


While numbers may be inflated due to some miscalculations, Ontario’s rate of infections for COVID-19 has hit a frightening new level today.

The Province is reporting 4,249 new cases of the virus – the first time the 4,000 threshold has been met – and the repercussions are starting to show across all healthcare platforms.

“This is the most serious situation we have ever been in since the beginning of the pandemic,” Premier Doug Ford said as he reiterated the need for the public to follow the health protocols.

As well, Ford said most hospitals will run out of the vaccine by next week if no new shipments arrive, which means that scheduled appointments to receive the needle will be cancelled.

“We need vaccines,” added Ford during his media briefing today. “I know the federal government is trying, they are trying their best, but we need them.”

Ford said a new modelling system will be introduced next week, one that will show how drastic the situation has become. He warned that stricter lockdown measures and sanctions are likely on the horizon. However, the Premier stopped short of saying whether that will include curfews or the closure of some warehouses and stores.

“When you see the modelling, there is going to be a wake-up call,” he said. “No matter what the provincial government does or the federal government does, without the co-operation of the people this will get out of hand. Please follow the protocols. We are in a desperate situation. Everything is on the table. There will be further measures because this is getting out of control.”

The Premier also said today’s figures are higher because some 350 cases weren’t recorded in yesterday’s totals, but he quickly added that the number is still around 4,000 new cases.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, echoed the Premier’s concerns saying today’s numbers are “scary” and that drastic steps will have to be taken to curb the rise in cases.

“There are more and more people hospitalized, more and more people in ICU, more and more people on ventilation,” Dr. Yaffe said. “The hospitals are cutting back on important procedures. They are starting to move patients to different hospitals. What we are seeing is more spread of this infection in the community. We don’t want to scare people but on the other hand there is too much complacency.”

In Toronto, 1,382 new cases were recorded today, by far that city’s highest daily number. Peel Region has 691 new cases while York Region has 427. Figures from other jurisdictions will be released later today.

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