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Coronavirus community spread has peaked, Ontario heading for “best-case scenario”: health officials

The province is headed for a best-case scenario.

Ontario government health officials have declared that the community spread of coronavirus within the province has peaked. 

According to projection models, social distancing and other measures have contributed to slowing the spread of the virus, and the province is headed for a best-case scenario. 

“The modelling clearly demonstrates that we are making progress in our fight against this deadly virus. That’s due to the actions of all Ontarians, those who are staying home and practising physical distancing, and to the heroic efforts of our frontline health care workers,” said Premier Doug Ford in an official news release.

However, based on the advice of health experts, the declaration of an emergency has been extended to May 12, meaning that gatherings of five people will continue to be restricted and non-essential services will remain closed. 

University of Toronto School of Public Health Dean Adalsteinn Brown said during the briefing that the peak period could last for a few days or longer. 

“Peaks are not a nice single sort of spike. They can be a little bit bumpy, they can be prolonged for a period of time,” said Brown. 

Brown provided the projections alongside Ontario Health President and CEO Matthew Anderson and Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Barbara Yaffee. 

“When we do start to lift some of the measures, it will not be a light switch on and off, it will have to be very gradual. And we will have to measure the impact of each change as we make it,” said Yaffe. 

Due to the province’s success in curbing the spread of the virus, hospitals have been able to handle the outbreak and have not had to deal with overcapacity issues. 

“The information released today shows early but unmistakable signs that our efforts are working,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in a government news release. 

“These numbers are not an accident. They are the result of months of planning and collective action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve. However, in order for these projections to become reality, each of us must continue to stay home as much as possible and practise physical distancing.”

Health experts have warned that elderly care facilities still remain an issue when it comes to potential outbreaks.

Ontario has reported a total of 11,184 confirmed cases as of Monday, and 613 deaths. 

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