Local epidemiologist suggests extending Ontario’s stay-at-home order

By Alex Goudge

A local epidemiologist is suggesting Ontario's province-wide stay-at-home order should be extended, or temporarily tightened.

University of Ottawa Associate Professor and Epidemiologist Dr. Raywat Deonandan says COVID-19 rates in the province need to return the level they were at in February, which was the lowest point in 2021 so far. But he doesn't think that will happen before June.

Currently, Ontario's stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 19.

Dr. Deonandan explains, based on the current best-case scenario, intensive care units will still be experiencing extraordinary usage despite the 'third wave' of COVID-19 infections projected to be past its peak.

“If we open up, that number [of new cases], at the very least, is not going to go down — it's not a good place to plateau,” he told CityNews Ottawa.

Dr. Deonandan is also suggesting implementing tough restrictions such as “a real lockdown” instead of just extending the current order in place.

“So we could tighten the screws right now and shorten the suffering, or we can maintain this tepid suffering for a few weeks longer.”

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