Ontario likely in new COVID wave driven by BA.5 subvariant, says scientific table

Ontario’s expert pandemic advisory group says the province appears to have entered a new wave of infections, driven by the BA.5 Omicron sub-variant.

The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says wastewater signals, test positivity and hospitalizations from the virus are increasing and the virus is showing exponential growth in regions across the province.

dr. Fahad Razak, the group’s scientific director, says the highly contagious BA.5 variant also appears to be immune-evasive, meaning people recently infected can catch the virus again soon after.

So far, there’s no evidence that BA.5 causes more serious illness, but Razak says the sheer number of people infected could still leave many people experiencing serious consequences and put further strain on the health system.

He says people should take precautions such as masking in crowded areas and gathering outside whenever possible.

He also stressed that people should be vaccinated with their third injection if they are eligible.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on July 6, 2022.

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