We could be in it for the long haul. The COVID-19 timeline in Canada goes all the way to January 2022 and public health officials are aiming for a "slow burn" scenario. However, there is preparation being done for a large peak in the fall and smaller ones after that.

The Public Health Agency of Canada released new data and modelling about the pandemic situation throughout the country.

That includes a timeline of the best-case scenario and the reasonable worst-case scenario.

Canada is aiming for a "slow burn" which means case rates are kept low and within the health system's capacity to deal with people who have the virus.

With that scenario, the timeline goes into January 2022 but with steady numbers of cases and without any large peaks.

Despite that aim, public health officials are still planning for a reasonable worst-case scenario which includes a large peak in the fall.

That would be followed by continuing peaks and valleys in which demands for health care resources can sometimes go beyond the health system's capacity.

Dr. Theresa Tam noted during a press conference about the new data and modelling that which route the country goes down is dependent on all of us.

"The fate is still within our hands," she said.

"As we continue with the last weeks of summer, remember what we do now will determine how hard we have to work in the fall to keep the epidemic under control in Canada," Dr. Tam said.

She also noted that we can expect to see some resurgence in cases as restrictions continue to be lifted.

Until there are safe and effective treatments of vaccines that can be used widely, Canada will still see new cases of COVID-19, according to Dr. Tam.

However, the top doc said it would be "unwise" for her to tell us what 2022 will look like in terms of public health measures.

One thing is certain, detecting cases quickly and contact tracing are key parts of controlling COVID-19.

Canada recently launched an exposure notification app that will tell you if someone you've come in contact with has tested positive for the virus but Dr. Howard Njoo says it doesn't replace contact tracing.

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