Ontario’s third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is here and is being driven by variants of concern. 

New modelling has the province reaching 12,000 new daily cases by the end of April if stronger safety measures are not applied. 

Dr. Adelsteinn Brown, the Co-Chair of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, says the variants fueling the third wave are proving to be more dangerous than the original virus. 

Dr. Brown confirmed that the B.1.1.7 variant originating from the UK has double the risk of intensive care admission and is deadlier. 

He said hospitals are now seeing whole families admitted with a COVID-19 variant, rather than individuals like earlier in the pandemic. 

In addition, Dr. Brown said more young Ontarians are ending up in hospital with the virus.

He said the health system’s ability to deal with regular intensive care admissions is now being threatened by the virus.

As for the province’s vaccine rollout, data shows that doses are not reaching Ontario’s highest-risk population, delaying the impact we should be seeing from vaccines by now.

Photo provided by Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table