Why did Ontario COVID-19 rates surge after Christmas? New cellphone mobility data offers some clues
2020-01-10 from thestar.com
On Friday, exactly two weeks after Christmas, Premier Doug Ford appeared before television cameras looking shaken.
“This is the most serious situation we’ve ever been in ever, ever, since the start of this pandemic,” he said of the province’s latest record-breaking COVID-19 numbers.
But this “desperate situation” is one many experts say they could have predicted in the days and weeks before Christmas, when they urged stricter and broader restrictions ahead of the holiday season. Instead, the province announced new restrictions starting on Boxing Day — after people would have already done their last-minute shopping and gathered for the holidays.
Experts now say the holiday period accelerated what was already an alarming trajectory before Christmas. According to mobility data shared exclusively with the Star, some health units that have seen dramatic increases in post-holiday infection rates also had among the province’s highest rates of movement.
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