COVID-19 resurgence forecast for Canada, worse if Omicron replaces Delta: Tam

COVID-19 resurgence forecast for Canada, worse if Omicron replaces Delta: Tam

OTTAWA — Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says a resurgence of COVID-19 is forecast for Canada and it could speed up even more if the Omicron variant replaces Delta.

New federal modelling shows that if Omicron does not predominate over Delta, Canada could see between 2,900 and 15,000 daily cases by mid-January, depending on the effect of public health measures.

Tam says if it’s assumed the Omicron variant is three times more transmissible than Delta and becomes dominant, then Canada could see 26,600 daily cases by then.

Over the past week, there was an average of over 3,300 new cases being reported daily across Canada, and Tam is urging a high degree of caution during the coming holiday season.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says Canada’s capacity to test all non-U.S. international travellers at airports has increased but remains limited.

He says as of Nov. 30, airports could administer 11,000 tests per day and that number has risen to 17,000 a day.

Full capacity would be 23,000 daily tests and Duclos did not say when that would happen.

Duclos also announced that 35 million rapid tests will be delivered to provinces and territories this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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