COVID-19 trends don’t bode well for reopening, says region’s top doc
LONDON, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London region’s top doctor says COVID-19 trends locally look promising, but there’s still a long way to go to get to any sense of normalcy.
“We aren’t seeing the big declines we would need in order to predict, you know, reopening things over the next few weeks.”
Medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie’s comments come as the region surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Dr. Mackie told CTV News that while the daily cases have leveled off, fewer people are getting tested for the virus, meaning the case counts don’t show the whole picture.
“Essentially, our rates are flat. We’re not seeing a significant decline in the rate. We’re seeing less testing, meaning less cases. But the percentage of test results that are positive is still stubbornly high, and actually increasing at the provincial level.”
The 10,000 mark is one that many never would have expected, including local resident Andrea Macko, who could be found shopping in North London Tuesday.
“It’s definitely a sad milestone. That’s for sure. It’s hard to believe that after a year we’re still struggling with this.”
The good news is that more than 150,000 vaccine doses have now been administered locally.
However, the province is considering diverting 50 per cent of Ontario’s vaccine supply to hot-spots. Middlesex-London could see a further reduction in supply.
Dr. Mackie said he’s not concerned at this point. “Shoring up the resources in the hot-spots definitely helps us here. We know that if the GTA is burning, we burn next.”
But it’s little consolation for Andrea Macko, who said she registered at eight or nine pharmacies to receive the vaccine.
“It’s good in some ways that demand is so great. But it’s also frustrating because you want the vaccine, you want to be safe, you want to do what’s right, and you just can’t get there. It’s playing that waiting game.”