Ontario: Wave 6 Is Here and It Will Be Bad

By Paul Minshull, CEO & Founder, COVID19 Solution Architect

Reliving History

Ontario is about to relive the history from which it has failed to learn. Just weeks after hospitals staggered out of Wave 5, here comes the next wave and it’s going to be a big one. The latest Scarsin forecast shows that a combination of hospital admissions and staffing shortages because of the BA Omicron variant will see cancelled surgeries and procedures and deaths. And that’s before we see the full impact of the March 21 lifting of the mask mandate and the decision to abandon testing. With some quick action, the province may be able to mitigate some of the devasting impacts of this new wave.

In many ways, we’re back in uncharted waters with a variant that is more transmissible than any we’ve seen to date. With vaccine passports gone, mass testing shut down and no fourth doses for people under 60 we are sitting ducks as masks go unworn and vaccine immunity wanes among our most vulnerable citizens.

At Peak Lower Limit Baseline Upper Limit
Non-ICU Beds 2,818 3,394 4,604
ICU Beds 443 530 694

Given updates from Peter Juni on April 7 regarding record case counts in Ontario and the highest wastewater levels, it is possible that actual will exceed the current upper boundary for this forecast cycle. [1]

The time to act is now. The Ontario government can’t avoid Wave 6, but it can soften the blow:

  • Accelerate fourth doses for those 60+
  • Reinstate the mask mandate
  • Reinstate mass testing (Canada is now a global laggard)
  • Accelerate third doses for 20-50
  • Get more children vaccinated

While political popularity may favour being overly cautious in taking action, our forecasts show the price for Ontarians in Wave 6 will be brutal and Wave 7 is lurking in the shadows for a big impact toward the end of the year. COVID is not done with us yet, and pretending otherwise won’t save lives or protect our healthcare system.

At Scarsin, we have worked with pandemic forecasting teams at the federal and regional level to save lives, support our healthcare system and make good public health decisions.


  • Scarsin has 15,000+ hours of COVID forecasting experience with federal and regional public health units 
  • Scarsin received no funding for this forecasting, nor undue influence of any manner in terms of the forecast it produced
  • Scarsin has made best efforts to include the best available scientific assumptions 
  • Our model is an age compartmental ODE model (ACODE) with advanced infection location control and more than 90 inputs with daily controls
  • The forecasts represent potential future outcomes which can be altered based on new information or dynamics. Today’s forecast did not include the announcement of 4th vaccinations for 60+

[1]: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2022/04/06/ontario-is-now-seeing-an-estimated-100000-new-covid-19-infections-a-day.html?rf