Ontario remains in fourth virus wave, likely to continue through winter, top doctor says

TORONTO – Ontario’s rising COVID-19 infection curve is a continuation of a fourth wave that began in September and not the beginning of a fifth, the province’s top doctor said on Thursday when he warned that the uptrend would continue.

Chief medical officer, Dr Kieran Moore said the number of cases never returned to low levels despite a slight decline before steadily increasing again in late October.

“We never declared the fourth wave over, this is simply a continuation,” Moore told reporters.

“Sadly, all models would have predicted this to rise slowly, steadily and upward in the coming months, including January and February.”

He said a higher number of cases was expected as people moved indoors in cold weather and asked people to exercise caution until the weather warms up in the spring and more people are eligible for the dose. third vaccine to protect against the “remarkable enemy” of COVID-19.

“It just continues to want to spread and it won’t slow down until we get outdoors in the spring,” he said. “We have a period in the next four months where we will have to continue to be very, very vigilant.”

Ontario reported 748 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and five more virus-related deaths as the seven-day average for infections rose to 692.

Several medical units in the north and southwest of the province have responded to the increased cases locally, and Moore said the province is working to send resources to help.

Moore, Premier Doug Ford and Health Secretary Christine Elliott all said the province would respond locally to the COVID-19 spike and not reintroduce public health measures across the province.

Experts have linked the late-October increase in cases in part to lifting capacity limits in some indoor spaces, and some medical units have reintroduced those measures.

On Thursday, Moore said the province is also monitoring acute care capacity at hospitals.

The Ontario Scientific Advisory Panel has modeled intensive care capacity reaching 200 patients by the new year. As of Thursday, there were 135 patients in Ontario’s intensive care units, including some from Saskatchewan.

The top medical executive for Ontario Health, which oversees the province’s health system, told The Canadian Press this week that the province can handle between 250 and 300 COVID-19 intensive care patients. before other services such as surgery must be cancelled.

This Canadian Press report was first published on November 25, 2021.


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