Ontario in seventh COVID-19 wave, driven by BA.5 subvariant: science table

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Ontario in seventh COVID-19 wave, driven by BA.5 subvariant: science table's Profile



A seventh wave has been tentatively declared by the province’s panel of COVID-19 experts.

“We have likely entered a wave driven by the Omicron BA.5 subvariant,” tweeted the science advisory table on Wednesday.

Wastewater trends are beginning to show a steeper rise in viral signals, as pictured above.

The panel noted that hospitalizations will likely be lower than in previous waves, but warned that health care system is still strained.

“Current evidence does not suggest BA.5 is more severe or that it will lead to a rise in hospitalizations as large as previous waves,” tweeted the experts. “However, any surge comes at a time when hospitals are already dealing with staff shortages and record wait times. This impacts all of us.”

They added that if you have recently gotten over a COVID-19 infection, you could still get infected again.

While stopping short of suggesting any new mandates, the panel noted that wearing a high-quality mask in crowded indoor settings “is a good way” to protect yourself.

They also recommended getting up-to-date on your third and fourth vaccine doses, depending on which is offered.

You can increase ventilation by opening your windows or simply gathering with friends and relatives outside.

“We have tools that work, and we know what to do,” noted the panel. “So do whatever you can to reduce your risk while enjoying the summer.”

Image courtesy of the Ontario COVID-19 science table

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