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Canada Faces The Start Of A Delta-Driven 4th Wave & Unvaxxed Young People Are Most At Risk

Reopening too quickly could play a role in a resurgence of cases by the end of the summer, says Dr. Theresa Tam.

Data suggests that Canada is at the start of a fourth wave of COVID-19 being driven by the Delta variant and, according to Dr. Theresa Tam, unvaccinated young people are the most at risk this time around.

During a modelling update on July 30, the country's chief public health officer said that a newly-updated long-range forecast suggests that the country is at the start of a Delta-driven fourth wave, but that its impact depends on more people getting fully vaccinated, along with the "timing, pace and extent" of reopenings across Canada.

If there is a big increase in cases, Tam said, "it could mean that reopening is proceeding too quickly before enough people have developed immunity through vaccination and we could expect to see a sharp resurgence by the end of the summer."

It's also expected that cases will be largely concentrated among young, unvaccinated people, and then further spread will extend to unvaccinated older people.

Alberta, which has already lifted most pandemic restrictions, including mask-wearing in most situations, has announced that isolation is no longer required for close contacts of confirmed cases and, as of August 16, quarantine won't be required for people who test positive for COVID-19.

Ontario is currently in the third and final step of its reopening plan, and while the province won't be moving out of it for a couple of weeks, almost all of the public health measures will be lifted when it moves to exits the last step. Masks, however, will still be required in indoor public places because of the Delta variant.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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