We're going to see more hospitalizations and deaths,' Simcoe Muskoka doc says of surging COVID cases
BARRIE, ONT. -- COVID-19 case count records continue to be broken in Simcoe Muskoka, prompting health officials to sound the alarm. CTV's Craig Momney spoke with our region's Associate Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Colin Lee, about the concerning trend.
Craig Momney: As you look at this weeks' record-breaking numbers, what are your concerns?
Dr. Lee: My concern is that there is no sign that this increase is stopping and that, unfortunately, hospitalizations and deaths usually lag by two weeks and unfortunately, what that means is we're going to see more hospitalizations and deaths in the next little while because the numbers are still increasing and are record-breaking, unfortunately.
Craig Momney: Seeing these daily averages, what will you be looking for over the next few weeks?
Dr. Lee: Unfortunately, numbers are still increasing, and honestly, I don't know when this might stop increasing. That's the truth.
It will be two weeks, however, now since the province-wide shutdown, and really, this is the time when we should see fruit bear from it.
So I'm hoping in the next couple of weeks we will see the increase either slow down or even plateau, and you never know, start to decrease as well.
Craig Momney: If this trend continues, how likely are we to see curfews and stricter measures as we see right now in Quebec.
Dr. Lee: If the trend continues, it would signal the shutdown is not working as well as it should, and you know, obviously, we will have to consider those stricter measures. I'm sure the province is thinking about it already. It's really a question of how much we can tolerate this increase before we go to the next step.
Craig Momney: As vaccinations are underway at the assessment centre on Sperling Drive, how long do you think it will take to get everyone in Simcoe County vaccinated?
Dr. Lee: As we've just been given the green light to move the Pfizer vaccine somewhat, we're now in full gear to our most vulnerable, our long-term care home residents, the retirement home residents.
We're really constrained by the amount of vaccines we're receiving. You know, everyone in the world wants it. However, we do anticipate the supply will be much more assured in February.
So we work through the priority list, and I feel that by approximately June, everyone who wants to be immunized could be immunized. That's what I hope, but we will see about the supply.
Craig Momney: Is there any word on when the Moderna vaccine will be here in Simcoe Muskoka?
Dr. Lee: The Moderna vaccine is easier to move; unfortunately, we have not heard when that will come, but we are hoping as soon as possible.