Don’t let your guard down yet: Ontario’s science and health leaders have expressed that the province has now entered the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data shared by the COVID-19 science table for Ontario indicates that new confirmed cases are once again trending upwards as restrictions have relaxed to varying degrees across the province and vaccination efforts still remain relatively slow going.
There has also been a notable uptick in the prevalence of the new COVID-19 variants of concern, such as the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the UK that is thought to be more contagious and maybe even more deadly.
In fact, a chart shared to social media suggests that these new variants of concern are now driving nearly half of the pandemic province-wide.
So, here we are: Ontario's Third Wave. This isn’t a model.. Blue line is overall SARS-CoV2 spread; Orange line is VOCs — now almost half of the pandemic and driving the growth. (The two lines are now parallel). #COVID19Ontario https://t.co/U6F16usw2A pic.twitter.com/i8hcod9XAo
— COVIDScienceOntario (@COVIDSciOntario) March 16, 2021
Though some Ontarians may feel a bit emboldened to get more lax with the usual COVID-19 safety measures due to the current vaccine rollout, officials are urging the population to be vigilant.
“It is great news that additional vaccine supply is on the way, however until the majority of our population is vaccinated the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains high,” says Hamilton’s Mayor Fred Eisenberger.
“Please think of others and do your part by staying home as much as possible and continue to follow local public health guidelines and safety measures. When the vaccine becomes available to you, I strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe, they work, and they will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable populations.”
Ontarians are urged to continue following COVID-19 safety measures including staying home whenever possible, not gathering with others outside of your household, wearing a mask when in public spaces, washing your hands frequently, and staying home if you feel unwell.
Currently, Hamilton has 547 known active cases of COVID-19, bringing the city’s overall total to 11,381 cases since the pandemic first arrived here just over a year ago. There are also 31 active outbreaks, the largest of which is the outbreak at the Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre, which sits at 73 confirmed cases.
Read more about COVID-19 in Hamilton on the city website.