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Ontario officially in the second wave of COVID-19
At a press conference on Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and health officials have confirmed that the province is in the second wave of COVID-19.
“We know that this wave will be more complicated, more complex, it will be worse than the first wave we faced earlier this year,” Ford said. “Please follow the health guidance, please download the COVID Alert app, please get your flu shot this year, it’s absolutely critical.”
“If we can get everyone to take these simple steps, we can tip the scale, we can avoid the worst.”
The premier went on to say that the actions people in the province make now will impact whether Ontario faces “a wave or a tsunami.”
“This is extremely, extremely serious,” Ford said. “Everything is on the table.”
‘The question is, which type of second wave is it?’
Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the command table is looking at various metrics and data points to determine the severity of this second wave, including hospitalizations, ICU cases, cases in long-term care settings, outbreaks, lab testing capacity, percent positivity and case contact management.
“The question is, which type of second wave is it?” Dr. Williams said. “Right now we [are] in a second wave that looks like one of those undulating waves, how big it is we don’t know yet.”
“It’s not like the tsunami-type second wave but we’re watching to see…how much will it have impacts on our systems.”
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health confirmed the virus is mutating but it is still unclear if that has weakened the virus at all.
At this point, the provincial government is not reinstating any additional restrictions but Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott stressed that the advice of the chief medical officer will be taken on any future business closures or stricter lockdown measures.
‘700 new cases is shocking’
Ontario Liberal Party Leader, Steven Del Duca, has called on the provincial Conservative government to add restrictions as case numbers continue to rise.
“700 new cases is shocking. Wave 2 has hit Ontario and Doug Ford has no plan,” the statement reads. “It’s time to listen to the health experts and take a regional approach to closing bars, restricting indoor dining and taking a hard look at non-essential gatherings.”
“Ontarians are more concerned about keeping their parents and grandparents safe from Wave 2 than they are about opening up bars and casinos. Ontario’s hospitals are spot on, we need new restrictions on weddings, restaurants and bars, gyms, non-essential business and places of worship.”
The Ontario government also announced Monday that $52.5 million will be invested to “recruit, retain and support” 3,700 more frontline health care workers and caregivers to prepare for increased demand on the province’s healthcare system.
“Today’s significant investment will allow us to recruit, retain, and quickly deploy a militia of health care heroes, caregivers, and volunteer professionals to care for our seniors and most vulnerable and ensure our health care system is prepared to deal with any outbreaks or surges in cases,” Ford said in a statement.