Rise of COVID-19 variants overlooked as provinces loosened restrictions, data shows
2021-04-30 from cbc.ca
When several provinces eased restrictions in February and March, reacting to a downward curve in overall COVID-19 cases, a rising arc of more-infectious variants was already on a trajectory to thrust Canada into a third wave of infections, a CBC News data analysis reveals.
On the surface, for example, Ontario's pandemic did look to be coming under control when Premier Doug Ford stood in front of cameras on Feb. 8 to announce loosening of restrictions.
"Today we are seeing some sunlight break through the clouds," Ford told reporters.
"Daily case numbers are down. Transmission rates are down."
But what Ontario and other provinces didn't see — or didn't act on — were variant numbers that already showed signs of growth, the data shows.
Caroline Colijn, Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematics for evolution, infection and public health at Simon Fraser University, said there was too much focus on the big COVID-19 numbers which dipped from about mid-January into early March.
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