The top scientists who advise the Ontario government say it’s official: We are now in the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Citing the rapid spread of variants of concern, the Science Table COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario tweeted the daunting declaration on Tuesday.
According to recent data, variants of concern now account for almost half of current cases and continue to trend upwards while the spread of earlier variants dip.
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
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) declared a third wave on Monday, citing the Advisory Board’s data that also includes an uptrend in ICU occupation across Ontario.
We’re now in wave 3: New data from Ont.’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table. W/new VOC cases steeply rising & ICU #s trending up (nearing 350 today), strong adherence to public health measures is urgently needed to prevent overwhelming hospitals: https://t.co/bY90oTlDMz pic.twitter.com/hYl8twUhRs
— Ont. Hospital Assoc. (@OntHospitalAssn) March 15, 2021
Despite the stats, Ontario’s top doctor was reluctant to officially announce a third wave when asked on Monday.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, said that it was still “to be determined” if the third wave had begun.
I just asked Dr. Williams if Ontario is in a third wave. The Chief Medical Officer of Health says it is “to be determined.” Williams adds it’s hard to tell if this is a dip or more until wave or spike is over.
— Cynthia Mulligan (@CityCynthia) March 15, 2021
Ontario reported 1,074 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 11 more deaths with the positivity rate climbing to 4.5 per cent, from 3.8 per cent the previous day.