Over the past few weeks, Ontario has seen a significant rise in the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, particularly in Toronto, Peel and Ottawa. As a result, the provincial government moved these regions back to a modified Stage 2 of its reopening plan. This situation was completely predictable and preventable, and unless the province comes up with a clear plan to get out of Stage 2, we may be left with the same recurrent issues for the foreseeable future.
The Venn diagram published alongside this column illustrates the pressures on the Ontario government’s response. Our hardest-hit areas are affected most by the intersection point of all three bubbles — ineffective contact tracing, increasing community contacts and high community burdens.
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As we talk about potentially entering a period of increasing restrictions, it is important to review the entire landscape that contributes to the latest developments, rather than simply focusing on the high-risk businesses that were reopened during Stage 3. And if we want to formulate a path out of the current restrictions, it is important to come up with a plan that incorporates all the factors that created our current predicament.