Ontario recorded 407 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, leading to questions as to whether the second wave of the pandemic has arrived.
“While we can’t rule it out, it’s easier to recognize a second wave once you’re there,” Williams said in a statement to CTV News Toronto.
Williams’ comments come after Ottawa’s chief medical officer of health confirmed on Friday that the region is experiencing its second wave and expressed concern about the “speed of the increase” in cases.
“We cannot support a rapid increase in cases,” Dr Vera Etches told reporters in Ottawa until Friday.
Dr Williams’ reluctance to define the current peak in cases could be attributed to the “range of scenarios” that public health officials have relied on to plan their pandemic and influenza season.
“Scenario planning by the Public Health Agency of Canada and others includes a range of scenarios, which includes a series of smaller waves or a second major wave,” said Dr Williams.
Ryan Imgrund, a biostatistician at Southlake Regional Health Center, believes Ontario has been in a second wave for at least a month and has forecast a sharp increase without further intervention.
“As it is now, we can expect to see 800 cases a day if we don’t do something different soon after Thanksgiving,” Imgrund said. “That’s what the modeling shows if we keep this growth rate on the rise.
Premier Doug Ford was questioned twice on Friday if he believed Ontario was experiencing the second wave of the virus, but he twice dodged the question.