Infectious disease specialist Dr. Gerald Evans, who also sits on the COVID-19 advisory council for Ontario, says the models show that cases will increase in the coming weeks.
“Models don’t look good. We’re looking at potentially up to two thousand or more cases per day by the middle of December,” said Dr. Evans in Kingston, Ont., on Monday.
According to Monday’s provincial report, 508 new cases were recorded in Toronto, 392 in Peel Region, 170 in York Region, 67 in Waterloo and 51 in Ottawa. KFL&A public health is reporting 36 active cases, many of which are linked to travel outside of the region, according to the agency.
Due to the surge, Kingston-area public and health is urging everyone to avoid travel outside of the region to limit the spread.
The area’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, says if it were up to him, the region would be in the “yellow” risk status rather than green, but he says that’s a provincial decision.
“This is happening at a rate we haven’t seen before, and it’s affecting multiple different businesses,” said Dr. Moore.
In recent days, COVID-19 cases have popped up at two McDonald’s and one A&W restaurant in Kingston.
The spike in cases is seen across eastern Ontario. Leeds-Grenville-Lanark is reporting three new infections with 16 active cases.
Brockville nurse Kelly Schaub told Global News on Monday afternoon that many of her colleagues at Brockville General Hospital are burnt out as the pandemic appears to be worsening.
“This is the biggest thing I’ve ever had to go through ever in twenty-one years as a nurse,” said Schaub.
She says although the hospital hasn’t seen many COVID-19 patients, the mental toll of the virus on staff is concerning.
“The numbers are quite high of the people that have had to use psychiatry services, psychological services,” said Schaub. “We think to ourselves this okay-we’re going to get through this.”
According to preliminary results, a promising breakthrough was announced Monday as U.S. drugmaker Moderna said its vaccine candidate has proven to be nearly 95 per cent effective in protecting people from the COVID-19 disease.
Monday’s announcement was based on interim data from its ongoing late-stage trial.
“It’s exciting news. I think what we’re going to have a number of effective vaccines, but we’re not going to have those until the early to mid part of 2021,” said Dr. Evans.
It’s a glimmer of hope that Schaub says front-line workers have been waiting for since the spring, as she fears that many nurses and potential nurses will walk away from a career in health care.
“Having that little light of hope is like propelling us forward, and giving us a gold pot at the end of a rainbow,” said Schaub.
Moderna has been manufacturing its mRNA-1273 vaccine for several months and says approximately 20 million doses will be available by the end of the year.
Canada signed a deal in September for 20 million doses to be delivered in 2021, with the option of increasing the supply to 56 million doses.
— With files from Carolyn Jarvis, Global News, Reuters and The Associated Press.
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