Design your own COVID-19 exit strategy.

Steven De Keninck,   Ashleigh Tuite,   Amy Greer,   David Fisman.
"All models are wrong, but some are useful"
- George Box


  • In response to COVID-19, the Canadian province of Ontario declared a state of emergency on March 17, 2020.
  • The order is currently in place until May 12th and schools will remain closed until at least May 31st.
  • The order included closure of non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities, bars and restaurants, and restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people.
  • Physical distancing, along with testing and isolation of cases, has helped to flatten the curve and reduced the number of severe cases and deaths in our population.
  • We are starting to think about how to relax the restrictive measures we currently have in place.
  • The challenge we face is: how do we re-open our economy without losing the hard-earned gains we've already achieved together?
  • The tool below lets you explore different scenarios for relaxing physical distancing measures over the next 6 months... you can change the amount of time the interventions are in place and their intensity.


  • The model below represents COVID-19 spread in the population of Ontario
  • The model has been fit to data on the number of COVID-19 cases in intensive care units (ICU) and deaths among hospitalized cases.
  • The model describes community transmission. It does not capture the outbreaks that we're experiencing in long-term care homes and other institutional settings.
  • The graph shows the number of people in the population experiencing different stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease.
  • When ICU capacity is exceeded, the bars showing cases in ICU turns red to highlight cases that can't receive the care they need because there aren't any remaining ICU beds.

Phasing out the lockdown

We start with our best estimate of how much physical distancing is currently happening. The number of contacts each person has with others is reduced to 30% of normal. To start, you can decide how long you want this phase of the intervention to last. For each of the next stages of your exit plan, you can choose an intervention and change the amount of time it is in place as well as its intensity.

Intervention Phase 1

The first phase, a full lockdown, is currently in place, and only its duration needs to be determined.

Intervention Phase 2

Intervention Phase 3