second wave canada

Experts say Canada's surge in COVID-19 cases not yet the beginning of a second wave

It's no secret that Canada is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases lately — but does that mean we're seeing the dreaded second wave? Sadly, there's no crystal ball to see into the future, but health experts do have some predictions.

Speaking at a Monday press conference, B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says that the province is seeing a "surge" — not a second wave.

"This is a surge," Henry said. "It's increased numbers that we haven't seen, but we're not seeing that flooding of hospitals."

Henry added that a second wave will likely see large numbers of people in the ICU, as well as higher COVID-19 transmission rates in the elderly population.

However, Henry warned that a second wave of COVID-19 could be on the horizon this autumn as schools and offices reopen.

"No one knows for sure what the fall is going to bring," she said. "We all need to be prepared now for whatever challenge may emerge." 

And it's not just B.C. — Edmonton city council is also planning for a second wave of COVID-19 in response to rising case numbers.

"We hope to never need to escalate the risk level and activate new actions, but the City is ready should circumstances change," said Interim City Manager Adam Laughlin.

"Administration is preparing for a second wave or widespread outbreak."

Meanwhile, a Toronto health official said on Monday that a second wave of COVID-19 isn't just likely — it's inevitable.

"The first stage of this outbreak is behind us," said Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, but "there is no question that we will see a resurgence."

She's predicting either a large second wave this autumn or winter, or several smaller, successive waves throughout 2021.

De Villa's prediction aligns with information released by Public Health Canada, which predicts either a massive second wave in October or a number of small waves into 2021.

The takeaway? We probably aren't seeing a second wave just yet, but things have the potential to escalate in the autumn. Keep those masks on and your hand sanitizer flowing, Canada.

Lead photo by

Alberta Health Services

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