So much for summer killing off a virus. Well, this virus, anyway. A University of Toronto COVID-19 study found that warm weather won't actually help to kill off the pandemic. As the weather gets warmer over the next few weeks, researchers stress the only way to end the pandemic remains by following health measures.
As we head closer to summer, there has been much debate about how much heat can help in the fight against the pandemic.
But, according to a U of T release detailing the new study, researchers were "surprised" to find it's seemingly making no discernible difference to the extent of the pandemic.
According to the university's website, the May 8 study found that hot weather doesn’t actually work against COVID-19 despite common advice that exposing viruses to heat can help to kill them off.
"Our research suggests warming weather should not be a factor in the decision to re-open schools," said U of T professor and the study's main author, Peter Jüni.
He noted that a preliminary study had suggested temperature could play a role, but repeated under "much more rigorous conditions," the team found the opposite result.
Jüni's fellow U of T professor and co-author Dionne Gesink doubled down on the message.
#UofTCOVIDResearch: #UofT study from @UofT_dlsph says summer won’t bring an end to the transmission of #COVID19 nov… https://t.co/jr6kbzOGqv— University of Toronto (@University of Toronto)1589220089.0
"Summer is not going to make this go away. It’s important people know that," said Gesink.
"These public health interventions are really important because they’re the only thing working right now to slow the epidemic."
To come to its conclusion, the study looked over 144 geopolitical areas around the world that had over 375,000 COVID-19 cases by March 27.
Although they found that warm weather doesn't have any advantages over colder climates, they did find that group gathering restrictions, school closures and social distancing measures actually work.
Who would've thought?
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer, for one. Dr. David Williams suggested that people not social distancing enough is the main reason for the province's "perplexing" apparent high rate of community spread.
Although daily cases are seemingly lower than before, Premier Doug Ford also wants to extend the state of emergency until June 2 as the battle is still on-going.
And despite some parks in the province opening up May 11, strict social distancing measures will still be in place in most areas.
So, you'll be able to take in the sun but don't think it'll help you stay safe.