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Canada could be seeing the start of a variant-driven 4th wave, health officials warn

Canada could be seeing the start of a variant-driven 4th wave, health officials warn-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Canada’s top health officials are warning that Canada could be seeing the beginning of a fourth COVID-19 wave driven by the more infectious delta variant. 

Ontario reports 218 new COVID-19 cases, passes key vaccination target for further reopening

The seriousness of the pandemic’s resurgence will depend largely on vaccination coverage, said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

“This forecast reaffirms the need to take a cautious approach to relaxing public health measures, to remain vigilant and responsive to signs of resurgence, and to continue to increase first and second dose vaccination coverage,” Tam said.

Some provinces are starting to see rapid spread of the delta variant already.

Although its case numbers are lower overall now, Alberta is seeing the virus spread faster than it did during the peak of the third wave, with case numbers being driven by the more infectious variant.

B.C. declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the Central Okanagan after a rapid rise in cases in the region and is reimposing a local mask mandate, as well as other public health measures.

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the spread of the delta variant in the area is alarming, but she believes the new measures will help flatten the spike in numbers.

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