50 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Peel Monday; province developing new data tool to combat pandemic
Peel Public Health has confirmed an additional 50 cases of COVID-19 across the region Monday morning, pushing the total over 1,000 cases. The region also confirmed 3 more deaths as a result of the virus, which has now killed 18 people in Peel.
The new cases mark a 5 percent increase over Sunday, when 65 new infections were confirmed.
The largest increase in new cases was seen in Mississauga, where another 24 cases were reported, bringing the city’s total to 527. Brampton saw 21 new cases confirmed, putting its total at 427 and 5 new cases were reported in Caledon, bringing its total to 41.
Across the province, a 6 percent increase in new cases was confirmed Sunday, by the Ministry of Health. Ontario has had 7,470 cases of COVID-19, with nearly 45 percent now marked as resolved, and 291 deaths.
The rate of resolved cases, meaning those individuals who previously tested positive and no longer show any signs of the virus, has been rising faster than the rate of new confirmed cases over the past few days, a welcome trend.
In Peel, while cases continue to increase, residents should also be encouraged by a slowing rate of infection, at least based on those tests that have been conducted. It suggests physical and social distancing measures are having an impact, as Peel, Ontario and most of Canada are not seeing the type of increase after community transmission began that other places such as Italy and New York state have been suffering from.
Near the end of March, cases in Peel were growing at over 20 percent per day on average. Today, cases across the region only grew by 5 percent and over the past week and a half the average rate of increase has been about half what it was two to three weeks ago. It signals that the curve is being flattened and Peel’s healthcare system — which was strained before the COVID-19 pandemic — may be able to successfully weather the storm.
Data obtained by The Pointer from Critical Care Services of Ontario (CCSO) suggests our local hospitals are managing the current influx of COVID-19 patients.
Currently, the Central West Local Health Integration Network (which includes Brampton), has 49 critical care patients, 17 of them confirmed with COVID-19 and four of its novel coronavirus patients are on ventilators. According to the data this leaves 86.7 percent of the healthcare network’s ventilators available for future patients, a far cry from the data on April 1 when the same network was at negative 27 percent ventilator capacity.
At William Osler’s two full-service hospitals — Brampton Civic and Etobicoke General — as of April 13, there are 40 patients being treated for COVID-19 between the two facilities, 20 of them are in critical care.
In the Mississauga Halton LHIN, there are currently 104 critical care patients, 28 of them confirmed with COVID-19 and 23 of them are COVID patients requiring ventilation. It leaves 68 percent of the network’s ventilator capacity available.
For Trillium Health Partners, which operates Credit Valley Hospital and Mississauga Hospital, there are currently 72 patients being treated in its facilities for COVID-19, 25 of them in critical care.
Between the two hospital networks, 64 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from hospital, 39 from Trillium and 25 from Osler.
In an effort to better track and predict future outbreaks of COVID-19, the province of Ontario is developing a new data platform for researchers in order to try and gain a better grasp on where outbreaks could occur.
The new tool, called the Pandemic Threat Response (PANTR) will provide researchers with such data as: claims submitted to OHIP and the Ontario Drug Benefit Program; discharge summaries from local hospitals; as well as emergency department visits; and claims for home care or long-term care.
"Better access to integrated data will improve modelling and research to determine how COVID-19 is evolving, ensuring frontline staff are as prepared as possible in these unprecedented times," stated Christine Elliott, deputy premier and minister of health, in a press release. "While access to data is important, we are taking all measures to ensure patient privacy is always respected and Ontarians are aware of how anonymized information may be shared."
Health Minister Christine Elliott
The data platform is being developed alongside the Ontario Privacy Commissioner to ensure all data is scraped of any information that could identify specific individuals. This information, combined with existing demographic and community health indicators can better help health officials discover at risk populations for COVID-19 outbreaks, predict where these outbreaks could happen in cities across Ontario, and evaluate the preventative measures and equipment needed to deal with an outbreak, including how to best deploy resources from other areas in a fully integrated plan to make sure no community falls through the cracks.
"Integrating data from across the province will allow us to effectively leverage tools, like artificial intelligence, to better understand this virus, how it spreads and the most effective means of combatting it," stated MPP Peter Bethlenfalvy, president of the treasury board. "These key insights will mean our world-class health system partners have secure access to better and more consistent population data, improving decision-making in health care and aiding our efforts to beat COVID-19.”
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