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Ontario Science Table Says Province ‘is Well Into Wave 6 Of The Pandemic’

Key findings
• Ontario is well into wave 6 of the pandemic, driven by the new, more transmissible BA.2 subvariant, waning
immunity, and lifting of public health measures.
• There is significant uncertainty around the impact of case growth on our health system and deaths.
Wastewater surveillance suggests that community transmission may have peaked. Regardless, modelling
indicates that hospital occupancy is likely to continue to rise for some time, with uncertainty in the timing
and height of the peak.
• COVID-19 infections in healthcare workers are as high as in the last Omicron wave. High infection rates
combined with potentially high hospitalization rates will reduce Ontario’s ability to provide care for nonCOVID-19 patients.
• Infected individuals are at risk of developing Long COVID, which is associated with serious neurologic illness,
heart attacks, stroke, and long-term impairment.
• Individuals with Omicron symptoms should stay home and isolate. At least two negative rapid antigen tests
separated by at least 24 hours are required to be confident that an individual is not infected.
• Masking in indoor areas will substantially reduce the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 as will
improvements to ventilation.
• A complete vaccine series (currently 2 doses in children, 3 doses in adolescents and adults, 4 doses in older
adults and high-risk groups) provides strong protection against hospital and ICU admission and is the best
defence against getting symptoms and spreading COVID-19.
• Access to vaccination, testing and treatment continues to be uneven across socio-economic groups. It is
critical that all Ontarians have equitable access

The risk of post COVID condition (Long COVID) remains high, particularly among unvaccinated people


• Post COVID-19 condition occurs in individuals with a history of SARSCoV-2 infection, usually within 3 months of infection, with symptoms
lasting for longer than 2 months with no alternative diagnosis.
• Common symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive
dysfunction.
• For many individuals this results in significant work and family life
disruptions.
• The ongoing large COVID-19 infection burden will have an
impact beyond the current acute stress on hospital system:
• Conservative estimates suggest at least 10% of all unvaccinated people
who get infected will develop the post COVID condition.
• This will likely have important impact on economy, health care system
and society for years to come.
• There are no established treatments for the post COVID condition and
prevention of infection via public health measures and vaccination is
key.
• We are still learning about the impact of the post COVID condition in
children.

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