COVID-19 controls tightened as cases rise and possible second wave looms
2020-09-15 from thestar.com
VICTORIA — The looming prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall has governments cautiously monitoring daily infection rates as economies restart and students return to school.
A widespread return of economic and social restrictions that closed businesses and schools and cancelled public events in March is not the preferred option, but there may be no choice, say politicians and health officials.
“The last thing that anyone wants is to have to once again shut down our economies and suspend our lives to try and counter a massive second wave,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week.
He stressed public vigilance to fight the pandemic, frequent hand washing, mask wearing and physical distancing, because “as we’re seeing with cases rising across the country, we are not out of the woods.”
Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said Canadians should brace for more restrictions and shutdowns if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, even without the arrival of a second wave.
“There could still be a large increase in cases related to behaviour and that gives government opportunity to go, ‘OK, what are we going to change now to get the transmission back under control?’” she said. “That’s where government will need to focus.”
British Columbia ordered the immediate closure of nightclubs and banquet halls last week after daily COVID-19 case numbers were consistently above 100, with many infections traced to young people out socializing at events where alcohol was served.
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