Canada's COVID-19 Epidemic Timelines Go All The Way To Spring 2021
"We are the authors of our fate," said Dr. Tam.
Canada could be in for the long haul. Data released by the government is letting Canadians know the best and worst-case scenarios about this virus across the country. Canada's COVID-19 projections show that epidemic timelines could go all the way into spring 2021. However, provinces and territories could each see their own unfold.
During a press conference about the possible impacts of COVID-19 in Canada, projections and models were released that show just how long this pandemic could last.
"Models are not a crystal ball and cannot predict what will happen," said Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer.
However, the data can still give an indication of where the country could be headed depending on different scenarios.
With strong epidemic controls, which means a high degree of physical distancing along with isolation or quarantine, 1% to 10% of the population could get the virus.
With that scenario, it could bottom out at the end of summer and into the fall of this year.
Weaker control measures, which include a low degree of physical distancing and isolation or quarantine, could result in about 25% to 50% of Canadians getting infected.
That would delay and reduce the peak and last into the spring of 2021.
With no control efforts in place, 70% to 80% of the country could come into contact with the novel coronavirus and the epidemic could last into the winter of this year.
"We are the authors of our fate," Dr. Tam said.
Public health officials also noted that multiple waves are possible.
Even once we've moved passed the peak of the first one and are on a downward trend, it'll still be important to keep control measures in place.
If that doesn't happen, new transmissions will take off.
Howard Njoo, Canada's Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, said that in the future some regions could relax measures while some couldn't be able to.
During his own press conference, Justin Trudeau said that the peak of the curve could come at the end of spring and the first wave could end in the summer. Still, smaller outbreaks could continue to happen for months.
The projections also included the possible amount of cases andthat could happen across the country depending on control measures.
With 2.5% and 5% of the population infected, there could be between 934,000 and 1,879,000 cases.
In the best-case scenario, about 11,000 people in Canada would die from COVID-19 but in the worst-case scenario, that number could reach 300,000.
"Normality, as it was before, will not come back full-on until we get a vaccine for this," Trudeau said.
"We must do everything we can now to remain in that better scenario," Dr. Tam said.
She also noted that Canada still has the opportunity to control this epidemic and save lives.