New Brunswick Tribune

Thursday, November 30, 2023

The fourth virus wave has hit Ontario, and it’s expected to continue all winter

Key takeaways:

  • The rising COVID-19 infection curve in Ontario, according to the province’s top doctor, represents a continuation of the fourth wave.
  • Moore said on Thursday that the province is also keeping an eye on hospital acute care capacity.

According to the province’s top doctor, the growing COVID-19 infection curve in Ontario is a continuation of the fourth wave, which began in September, rather than the commencement of a fifth wave, who also cautioned that the upward trend would continue.

Despite a brief fall, chief medical officer of health Dr. Kieran Moore said case numbers never returned to a low point before rapidly growing again in late October.

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

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“Unfortunately, all models suggest that this will rise slowly and steadily in the future months, including January and February.”

He predicted that case numbers would rise when people moved indoors in the cold weather and urged people to be cautious until the temperature warms up in the spring. More people became eligible for third vaccine doses to defend against COVID-19’s “formidable opponent.”

“It just wants to expand,” he added, “and it won’t slow down until we get outside in the springtime.” “We do have a period over the next four months where we’ll have to remain attentive.”

On Thursday, Ontario recorded 748 new COVID-19 cases and five more virus-related deaths, bringing the seven-day average of infections to 692.

Local case surges have prompted several health units in the province’s north and southwest to respond, and Moore said the ministry is striving to send resources to assist.

Ontario still in fourth virus wave, likely to continue through winter, top  doc says

Moore, Premier Doug Ford, and Health Minister Christine Elliott have all stated that the province will respond to COVID-19 outbreaks case-by-case basis rather than reintroducing public health measures across the board.

Experts attribute the late-October increase in cases to the relaxation of capacity limits in some indoor locations, and some health facilities have now reinstalled such restrictions.

Moore said on Thursday that the province is also keeping an eye on hospital acute care capacity.

Intensive care occupancy is expected to reach 200 patients by the new year, according to Ontario’s science advisory committee. There were 135 patients in intensive care units in Ontario as of Thursday, including some from Saskatchewan.

The senior medical executive for Ontario Health, which administers the provincial health system, told The Canadian Press last week that the province can handle between 250 and 300 COVID-19 intensive care patients before rescheduling other treatments like surgeries.

Source: CTV News

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