Experts say stay-at-home order would be much better than ‘pseudo-lockdown’

By Alex Goudge

A local epidemiologist thinks a harsher lockdown over a shorter period of time is the way to go in the fight against COVID-19 variants of concern. 

According to Dr. Raywat Deonandan, epidemiologist and associate professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa, the third wave is the worst we've seen so far. He says it feels like a new pandemic has started within the on-going pandemic, due to the rise of variants of concern.

Multiple experts, including Dr. Deonandan, agree that a stay-at-home order is needed to get Ontario's COVID-19 situation under control.

“We only have to live with these restrictions for a couple of months at the most,” he explains in an interview with CityNews. “We have to drive numbers down to preserve the ICU capacity or this entire house of cards crumbles.”

COVID-19 biostatistician Ryan Imgrund is echoing the professor's call for increased restrictions.

While speaking to Breakfast Television, he explains the why the current 'soft lockdown' won't work — he says the closures do not target areas where transmission highest.

“The only way that we can bring these cases down is to make the right choices, to lockdown the appropriate things. Do it for as short of a time as possible but do it right,” Imgrund says. “The longer we stay in this kind of a pseudo-lockdown, the longer we're going to have to be in it.”

He suggests school to be moved online for at least two weeks, to get local COVID-19 case numbers to plateau.

Imgrund anticipates a drop in cases won't be visible for at least two weeks, due to the current restrictions and cases numbers from Easter still trickling in.

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