COVID-19 News: Letting go too soon could trigger a fourth wave, warns Dr. Gardner

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BARRIE, ONT. – As COVID-19 infections continue to decline from a pandemic peak, Simcoe-Muskoka’s top doctor warns letting go over the long weekend could have dire consequences.

“We will end up with a fourth wave that will stretch throughout the summer if we are not careful,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Charles Gardner said on Tuesday.

“Despite the fact that it is the long weekend and people have traditionally gone elsewhere, they should stay close to home.”

The warning comes as local COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are at their lowest for five weeks.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit reported 42 new infections and three new hospitalizations on Tuesday.

The region has now seen 11,446 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic, 767 of them considered active. Twenty-eight people are being treated for the virus at hospitals in the region.

But Gardner warns that transmission rates are still higher than they were in February when restrictions were last relaxed. Breaking with other medical officials, he advises against reopening outdoor activities.

Ontario health minister says reopening plan for the province is coming “very soon”.

Gardner says the plan needs to be clear and ensure people aren’t flocking to the area from COVID-19 hotspots.

The day the vaccinations were started at all Ontarians 18 years of age and over, Gardner says 56 percent of the region’s adult population has received at least one injection. He hopes that rate will improve to 75 percent by the end of June.

with files from Mike Arsalides


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