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4th wave of COVID-19 no longer growing, cases could decline in coming weeks: PHAC – National

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have levelled off across Canada, according to officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada, though they warn that public health measures need to be maintained in order to keep COVID-19 cases at bay.

New modelling presented by PHAC on Friday suggests that if current transmission levels are maintained, the number of new daily cases could decline in the coming weeks.

Progress hasn’t been even across Canada, officials say, but overall, numbers give “reason for optimism” said Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer of Canada.

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“With the level of vaccine coverage that we have achieved in Canada to date, we are much better protected going into the respiratory infection season, and today’s modelling update shows that by maintaining basic and less restrictive measures such as masking and limiting close contact, we could reduce the impact of COVID-19 this winter,” Tam said.

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For the first time since mid-July, the reproduction number of COVID-19 has dropped below one, she noted – meaning that the pandemic is no longer growing.

However, if transmission increases by just 15 per cent in the next few months, there could be a considerable resurgence of the virus this winter, she warned.

Case counts across Canada, while they have levelled off, still remain high, officials said. Infection rates are “exceedingly high” in some areas, they added.

“We are far from declaring the pandemic over,” said Dr. Howard Njoo, deputy chief public health officer.

More to come.

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