A Toronto expert is warning residents that a third wave could see Ontario’s COVID-19 cases get higher than ever before.
Dr. Colin Furness, an assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Toronto, told Narcity that Ontario could see higher case counts than ever before due to new COVID-19 variants of concern.
Case numbers are going down across Ontario, but public health officials are concerned about new variants of the COVID-19 virus that are more transmissible.
Canada has started cracking down on air travel, but Furness said the variants of concern are already “loose in the community.”
“Experience in other countries [..] shows giant spikes once these [variants of concern] become dominant,” Furness said. “I’m expecting a similar pattern here.”
Ontario public health experts predict a rise in cases could happen in March and April, and Furness said the good news is that warmer weather will make case numbers go down faster.
But the spike would bring a “serious risk” of overwhelming hospitals in the province.
“That would increase mortality a great deal,” Furness said.
Ontario is testing all COVID-19 cases to try and find the variants of concern, which Furness said is the right thing to do.
“But my worry is that it’s a bit too little and a bit too late to prevent the contagious variants from taking hold,” he said.
“As I always say about this, however, I hope I’m wrong.”