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Third wave of COVID-19 lockdowns likely: uOttawa scientist

Dr. Doug Manuel says the province's colour-coded framework didn't really work the first time, and there is no reason to think this time will be any different.
2018-03-03 University of Ottawa2 MV
University of Ottawa sign in downtown Ottawa, March 3, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

Ottawa has moved out of lockdown and into the orange-restrict zone of the province's colour-coded COVID-19 framework. But while the news is being welcomed by many, a local health expert is skeptical. 

Dr. Doug Manuel, a researcher with the University of Ottawa School of Epidemiology, believes a third wave of lockdowns is likely, considering the colour-coded system led to a second wave of lockdowns.

He says there is no reason to think this time will be any different. 

"My concerns are, especially for the province as a whole, that we're moving back into these colours that didn't really work in the fall, or that led to lockdowns," Manuel said.  "In Ottawa, we're in a little bit better shape; we're going down while others are going up, but still, I think we're going to have a really tough time."

Manuel adds, the new variants of concern are also a factor, along with general COVID-fatigue of being stuck indoors. 

"November was great.  We were coming down really nicely in November, but it was a really warm month; a lot of people were out," Manuel said. "But I think we've got a lot of headwinds over the next month or two, or even three."

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