Canada’s performance compared to its neighbor to the south has always been a source of some comfort. However, as of yesterday, Canada’s new COVID cases surpassed those of the United States.
While this seems like a disappointing milestone, it should more be reflective of how the new administration in the United States has been taking COVID-19 much more seriously and has begun a massive rollout of vaccines. This increase in vaccinations is a positive for Canada in the long run, with estimates of over 40 million vaccinations to be given by the end of June.
Still, this rise in cases should not be ignored. The “Third Wave” is driven by new variations of COVID-19, which have shown to be increasingly virulent. Canada is taking part in a race between the deployment of vaccinations, and the rise of these new variants. Currently, Canada stands at 1.06 million cases of COVID-19, with roughly 963,000 recoveries and over 23,000 deaths. Canada’s cases are surging into a Third Wave, with numbers reaching and surpassing the highs last seen in January.
Ontario has seen a massive surge of COVID, with a record-breaking 4,456 COVID cases reported today. Ontario is under lockdown rules currently, as the government moves to begin vaccinations for any adult in “hot spot” postal codes.
Quebec has also seen a surge in cases, causing it to reinstate an earlier curfew time in Montreal and Laval. Quebec is particularly concerned over the rise in cases of those under 40 and maintains its own maximum level lockdown.
In British Columbia, vaccines are now available to anyone over the age of 60 in an attempt to protect the older population of the province. In Alberta, there is a promise of health restrictions being lifted by June, under increasing difficulty in maintaining lockdown. In Saskatchewan, anyone over the age of 51 can now get vaccinated at drive-in clinics, while Manitoba announces the possibility of new variants.
Cases remain relatively low in the Maritimes, across Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Nova Scotia, for example, has managed to keep active case numbers down to 40.
Currently, over 7.5 million doses have been given in Canada. This is an impressive amount, but there is still a long way to go before the 44 million doses goal can be reached in June. Canadians will have to do their best with social distancing and proper mask-wearing to pull through to the summer and beyond.