Canadians should be prepared to deal with COVID-19 until at least 2022
Well Canada, it looks like we're in it for the long haul.
In a press briefing on Friday, the country's top health officials revealed new COVID-19 modelling data which predicts localized "peaks and valleys" of outbreaks that are expected to continue until at least January 2022.
As a result, officials are aiming for a "slow burn" scenario that includes "keeping case rates low and within the public health system's capacity to manage," said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
"Everything is sort of in our hands, so the sort of day-by-day, week-by-week monitoring of how well we control things right now will sort of determine the actual outcome," Tam said.
LIVE: Federal officials release updated COVID-19 modelling https://t.co/STwRXedoFp— Health Canada and PHAC (@GovCanHealth) August 14, 2020
With more businesses open and with the flu season approaching, officials are also preparing for a surge in cases this fall that is likely to surpass the highest spike seen in March and April. This is another reason Tam says that Canada needs to keep numbers low and not exceed the health care system's capacity.
"What we know, based on what we learned from other countries and cities that had a devastating impact in that initial wave is if you exceeded that capacity, the mortality goes up really, really high," she said.
Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo Canada is using the summer months to stock up on personal protective equipment, ventilators, and other necessary equipment. He is also encouraging everyone to get their flu shot when they become available.
While this all sounds a bit frightening, Tam and her team are reassured that Canada is more prepared now than it was in March to deal with a COVID-19 surge.
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