Ontario Health Coalition: Urgent Pandemic Update

Ontario Health Coalition

Urgent Pandemic Update


“Right now in Ontario, the pandemic is completely out of control,” says the scientific director of the Scientific Advisory Table, Dr Peter Jüni, professor of medicine and epidemiology at U of T.

“There is no such thing as winning this race with vaccinations.”

  • March 28 Ontario reported 2,448 new cases of COVID-19 which means the 7-day average is now 2,038 per day.
  • On March 1 the 7-day average was 1,098 per day, half of what we are seeing now.
  • These rates are higher than at any point in the 1st wave which peaked at 571 cases on April 24, 2020, and the rise of the 3rd wave to date is significantly steeper than the 2nd wave.

67% of Ontario COVID-19 cases are new variants which are more contagious and deadly.


  • On March 1 there were 659 Ontarians hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • By March 29 the number has increased to 985.

Hospitals in the GTA are over capacity and 34 ventilated COVID-19 patients have had to be transferred to make room in overwhelmed ICUs. On Sunday, Dr. Michael Warner, a Toronto ICU doctor, reported that all of his ICU patients have tested positive for a variant of concern, their average age is 53, and the majority of them are essential workers.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is now 21% higher than at the start of the last lockdown.

Doctors are describing previously healthy people “in the prime of their lives” on life-support with COVID [in Ontario]. “This wave is worse than a year ago. Worse than January. They’re younger. They’re sicker,” Dr. Shankar Sivananthan, a critical care doctor.

A personal note:

Every one of the numbers we are seeing — thousands of new people infected with COVID-19 every day now — represents a real human being. This time around they are likely to be your wife, your husband or spouse, your child, your young friend. I have read of people in ICUs as young as 10-years old fighting for their lives in recent weeks. Many people with COVID now are 20 – 55. We may not see it because they are hidden away in hospitals, but it is real. And it is frightening.

At the same time, the high community transmission of the virus means more staff in long-term care are catching it. It means ongoing oppressive restrictions in LTC homes and hardship for residents.

We will get through this, there is hope, but we need to pull together for one more big push. For those who have a choice about going out right now, please minimize your contacts with other people. What we do now determines how many people get sick, how many people die.

For those who are essential workers, please take extra special care, be as safe as you can. We are advocating for stronger public health measures to protect you.

Our health care workforce has been through hell and back. I know this weekend I personally am putting up a lawn sign to thank them this weekend. Please do what you can, put up signs and posters, show them all our love and respect, tell them how much we appreciate them. They are going to need it to get through the coming weeks.

Please be safe, everyone. Let’s do this for each other.

Thank you,

Natalie Mehra

Executive Director

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~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~

Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 201
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8



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