There's some good news for summer 2021 in Ontario, according to our COVID-19 experts.
At its most recent COVID-19 modelling presentation, one of the province's top medical experts said we could see a "better and more open summer" this year than we had in 2020.
Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, the dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, told reporters on Thursday afternoon that Ontario's success during the next few weeks largely relies on the spread of variants of concern (VOCs).
The difference between high VOC spread and low VOC spread in Ontario could be the difference between 500 and 3,500 new cases a day, Ontario's models show.
Brown said that the next few weeks are "critical" in terms of understanding the impact of the variants of concern.
And public health measures across the province should only be loosened "carefully," Brown said.
He said that a better summer could be on the horizon for Ontario due to the combination of vaccinations and lockdowns that has kept COVID-19 transmission down.
He said that there will still be small flare-ups of COVID-19 in Ontario throughout the summer and fall.
But, if those flare-ups are carefully managed, Brown said that public health officials should be able to stop them from turning into widespread outbreaks.