TORONTO - Ontario's panel of COVID-19 expert advisers says the province needs a ``circuit breaker'' with public health measures that cut contacts by 50 per cent to blunt the worst of Omicron's impact.

Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, co-chair of the province's science table, says an accelerated booster campaign doesn't go far enough to contend with the contagious variant.

He says this will likely be the hardest wave of the pandemic.

The science table says that without any further measures, there could be 10,000 daily new cases before Christmas.

Omicron is also predicted to push intensive care occupancy to ``unstable levels'' by early January.

The province says about 600 ICU beds are available, with nearly 500 more available for surge capacity if needed, but experts have said surgeries will start to be affected once roughly 300 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care.