Health measures needed to control spread of COVID-19: experts
Posted August 25, 2021 5:36 pm.
Last Updated August 25, 2021 7:05 pm.
CALGARY — Alberta scientists are warning the daily COVID-19 case count in the province could reach levels as high as the third wave unless health measures are re-introduced.
University of Calgary developmental biologist and researcher Malgorzata (Gosia) Gasperowicz says the province’s daily case count is doubling every 14 days, making this wave worse in every aspect, except deaths, than previous ones.
“If we don’t introduce measures, on September 11, we will have 2,000 daily new cases, and ICUs will be full. Then on September 25, we will have 4,000 daily new cases,” she said.
Gasperowicz added that the government could intervene to prevent further spread or wait until ICUs are overwhelmed again.
British Columbia and Manitoba re-introduced mandatory masking after seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Associate professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary specializing in infectious disease and microbiology, Dr. Daniel Gregson, says bringing back masking would be a simple solution compared to the alternative.
“I think it’s the easy thing to do. The other thing to do is close down businesses and keep everyone at home, and I don’t think the public has the stomach for that,” he said.
“Masking is a relativity simple intervention. All children above the age of four have been doing it for almost a year now. If they can do it, I think the rest of the population can do it as well to really control the spread.”
Alberta Health spokesman Steve Buick says there is no plan to pursue stricter rules on face coverings.
Masks remain mandatory in healthcare settings and public transit.
Alberta reported 1,076 new cases on Wednesday, the first time in months the daily case count has surpassed 1,000, while active infections rose to 8,496.
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd says these numbers should be a “wake up call” for the UCP government.
“This is the highest number of cases we have seen in more than three months and all indicators are trending in the wrong direction,” Shepard said in a release.
“Cases are rising, and the entire health system is under pressure as UCP cabinet ministers hide from Albertans and the lights are off in the Premier’s Office.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro have both said that vaccinations are the best, most effective way to get the province through the pandemic.
Neither has addressed the surging numbers.
– With files from the Canadian Press and Kristy Kilburn.