Dr. Colin Furness is an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information and he thinks that more stringent measures need to be introduced to help stop the third wave.
In an email to Narcity, Dr. Furness spelled out 10 steps that would — in his opinion — constitute the type of shutdown that all of Ontario needs.
- Redistribute vaccine to prioritize occupational risk and postal codes for hot regions.
- A proper, brief lockdown — with all non-essential services suspended — likely just for four weeks.
- Raising the bar for what constitutes essential onsite work — call centres are not, for example.
- The immediate shutdown of workplaces with outbreaks.
- Door-to-door rapid testing on a mass scale in poorer/marginalized hotspot areas, paying people to get tested.
- Mass testing of essential retail workers across the province.
- N95 masks for essential retail workers.
- Immediate, additional financial support for small businesses and displaced workers.
- Paid sick days for essential workers effective immediately.
- Schools will all need to be closed for the duration of the lockdown.
"We have never done ANY of these things on the scale needed, which is why our lockdowns have been only partly effective, while very harmful socially and economically," Furness told Narcity.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.