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Ontario shuts down for at least a month as ICU admissions jump

April 1, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 45.3%. 1 min read.

People wearing face masks to protect them from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at a shopping mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 17, 2021. Officials have announced that Ontario has now entered the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as COVID-19 variants of concern, such as the UK variant, take hold and continue to spread across the province. (Photo by Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto)

Ontario announced a province-wide "emergency brake" shutdown beginning this weekend as Canada's most populous province struggles to cope with a surge in ICU admissions that provincial leaders said they feared was fueled by rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.

(CNN)Ontario announced a province-wide "emergency brake" shutdown beginning this weekend as Canada's most populous province struggles to cope with a surge in ICU admissions that provincial leaders said they feared was fueled by rapidly spreading coronavirus variants.

They spread faster and do more harm than the virus we were fighting last year," Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference in Toronto on Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday, the Ontario government said that after consultation with its chief medical officer of health and other health experts, it would impose a "provincewide emergency brake as a result of an alarming surge in case numbers and COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province. "

Ontario officials released new modeling Thursday that shows variants are increasing at an alarming rate, and even with a shutdown, it will be weeks before new daily cases decrease and hospital admissions subside.

In its new modeling, the Ontario scientific advisory table stated that the third wave is "being driven by variants of concern," adding that variants now account for about 70% of all new cases detected in the province.

But with the new variants that are both more contagious and more dangerous, we're seeing situations where whole families end up in intensive care, all at the same time," said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, who leads Ontario's science advisory table, as he released details of the new modeling.

Ford said Ontario has never had so many people in intensive care in its history.

Dr. Theresa Tam said there has been a 64% increase in new variant cases detected in Canada in the past week alone.

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