Based on the current projections, Canadians need to decrease their current rate of contacts by 25 per cent in order to get the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic under control in this country.
According to new national modelling released on Friday, despite additional restrictions being re-imposed in regions where the virus’ spread has ramped up in recent months, the current epidemic curve does not appear to be flattening.
After surpassing the previous round of projected maximum cases and deaths, cases continue to increase and Canada is on track to see thousands of new cases and hundreds of new deaths by Nov. 8.
If we maintain our current rate of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to resurge, and a decrease of 25 per cent would mean that the spread would come under control “in most locations,” according to the presentation being delivered by Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
“Right now, our most powerful tool remains social distancing… In communities where cases are rising quickly, we need to keep our contacts as limited as possible. This is what it will take to slow the spread of the virus,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the press conference. “So when you’re thinking of seeing people outside your household, ask yourself: ‘is this absolutely necessary?’ I know the situation is frustrating. I know it’s hard, but it is temporary. If we work together, cases will go down again.”
As of the modelling being released, there have been a total of 228,542 confirmed cases nationwide over the course of the pandemic, and by the end of next week, that number is on track to increase to between 251,800 and 262,000 cases.
There have been a total of 10,074 deaths recorded due to COVID-19, and that metric is also on track to grow considerably in the next several days, with the new figures projecting between 10,285 and 10,400 deaths by Nov. 8.
Tam is calling on people to avoid gatherings with people outside of your “consistent, trusted contacts” and to take all other social interactions virtually. In scenarios where physical distance can’t be maintained with people outside of your household, wear a mask.
As has been the case throughout the health crisis, the incidence rate varies across provinces and territories, but generally, over the last two weeks higher rates of infection are being reported, COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized at a higher rate than was seen over the summer, and deaths are “gradually” increasing.
Rates of Canadians under the age of 40 contracting the virus remain the highest, but an increase in new cases is occurring across age groups. Outbreaks are also continuing to be reported in the highest rates at long-term care and retirement residences; at schools and child-care centres; and as a result of social gatherings.
Photo credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
News source: CTV News