Published Wednesday, October 7, 2020 4:50PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 7, 2020 4:59PM EDT
At a briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa shared new modeling which estimates the different number of infections that the city is likely to see over the next eight months based on when new actions are taken “to drive down transmission.”
The modeling suggests that if the city’s reproductive rate rises even slightly from 1.2 to 1.25 there could be more than 30,000 new infections over the coming months with a peak expected sometime between early March and early May.
She also said that if the city is able to introduce measures that further lower the reproductive rate to 0.9, the outbreak would be “headed towards dying out” and the picture would improve some more.
For example, she said that in scenario in which new restrictions are put in place by the end of October to lower the reproductive rate to 0.9 the modelling projects that the number of infections amassed by May will end up being six times lower than it would be without any action. But if policymakers wait until the end of November to take action, it would only be three times lower. In the event they wait till the end of December, it would only halve the number of infections by May.
That, in turn, would mean a level of infection that would still put tremendous pressure on the city’s healthcare system.
“What we are trying to with respect to showing these models is give people a sense of what could the future look like depending on how much transmission of virus there is in our community but at the end of the day the level of virus transmission is up to all of us,” de Villa said during the briefing. “We know how this virus transmits, we know how it spreads and it spreads from person to person in close contact with each other through the droplets that you put out when you talk, breathe, sing or shout. So it up to us in government and the population as a whole to make sure we are doing what we can to reduce virus spread.”