Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
Revealed Tuesday, September 15, 2020 5:45AM EDT
VICTORIA — The looming prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall has governments cautiously monitoring day by day an infection charges as economies restart and college students return to high school.
A widespread return of financial and social restrictions that closed companies and faculties and cancelled public occasions in March is just not the popular choice, however there could also be no selection, say politicians and well being officers.
“The very last thing that anybody needs is to should as soon as once more shut down our economies and droop our lives to try to counter an enormous second wave,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned final week.
He pressured public vigilance to combat the pandemic, frequent hand washing, masks sporting and bodily distancing, as a result of “as we’re seeing with circumstances rising throughout the nation, we aren’t out of the woods.”
Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr mentioned Canadians ought to brace for extra restrictions and shutdowns if COVID-19 circumstances proceed to rise, even with out the arrival of a second wave.
“There might nonetheless be a big improve in circumstances associated to behavior and that provides authorities alternative to go, ‘OK, what are we going to alter now to get the transmission again beneath management?”’ she mentioned. “That is the place authorities might want to focus.”
British Columbia ordered the fast closure of nightclubs and banquet halls final week after day by day COVID-19 case numbers had been persistently above 100, with many infections traced to younger folks out socializing at occasions the place alcohol was served.
Provincial well being officer Dr. Bonnie Henry additionally ordered bars, pubs, lounges and eating places to chop off alcohol gross sales at 10 p.m. and shut by 11 p.m., until serving solely meals.
Henry mentioned she took “draconian” measures in March to gradual infections, and shutting nightclubs and halls is a mandatory step now.
“I feel we have to all begin rethinking about what we have to do to get us via the subsequent few months as a group collectively, and these are a number of the issues that we’ll have to put apart for now,” she mentioned at a information convention.
Final week in Quebec, the federal government mentioned police can hand out tickets ranging between $400 and $6,000 to those that haven’t got a face overlaying in indoor public areas or on public transit.
The province additionally introduced a number of measures along with the fines, together with the banning of karaoke and obliging bars to maintain registers of purchasers as an infection numbers rise.
Carr mentioned different public well being officers will have a look at rising restrictions to restrict COVID-19 transmission.
“The extra alternative you give the virus to unfold once more, the extra it can take that chance,” she mentioned.
Carr, a personal guide who advises governments and communities on well being coverage, mentioned the arrival of a second wave of COVID-19 will trigger widespread worry as a result of it alerts the virus has modified its behaviour.
“That is the place the scariest elements are,” she mentioned. “If the virus begins to mutate and develop into completely different and affect, for instance, a lot youthful folks considerably.”
However Carr mentioned rising restrictions are inevitable in a second wave or uptick in COVID-19 circumstances.
Economics professor James Brander mentioned politicians and well being officers ought to fastidiously weigh the affect of imposing extra restrictions or shutdowns on the economic system within the occasion of a second wave or rising an infection charges.
“What you need is the low hanging fruit,” mentioned the general public coverage knowledgeable on the College of British Columbia’s Sauder College of Enterprise.
Governments had been too harsh on the economic system in March and with hindsight ought to now contemplate extra focused restriction choices, together with shutting down bars, stopping giant gatherings and requiring extra aggressive mask-wearing insurance policies, Brander mentioned.
Carr mentioned pandemic management includes juggling three areas: well being, the economic system and social well-being.
“The perfect resolution is usually associated again to controlling as a lot as doable the transmission in order that economies can get again to thriving and that folks can preserve social well-being.”