As the province of Ontario watches the numbers of COVID-19 cases rise, especially in big centres like Ottawa, a local university professor of epidemiology and public health is staying optimistic.
On Wednesday, the province reported 315 new cases and showed 61 in the nation's capital. That means there has been more than 200 new cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed in Ottawa over the last four days.
Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has called for residents to reevaluate their social circles and cut back on close contacts if possible, and uOttawa prof Dr. Douglas Manuel is seconding that call to action, Wednesday.
"If we're smart and working together, we'll make those smaller changes earlier as opposed to the big drastic changes later," he explains. "I'm still hopeful that we can kind of turn this ship around a bit and get things down and in control in Ottawa."
Dr. Manuel adds that the rise in case numbers are also partially due to an increase in local testing.
"We're testing more, so [the recent COVID-19 numbers] are representing a little bit more of the actual people that we know about, you know, that are symptomatic with COVID," says the professor. "But I think it is this snapshot -- when I look at that curve, you know, it's exponential [and] we're on the wrong side of that exponential, so it's going to increase higher and higher and higher."
OPH also explained in a Twitter thread, Wednesday, where most of the new cases of COVID-19 are coming from in the city, and talked more about how residents can take better precautions in the fight against transmission of the virus.
Ok, bad news first.— Ottawa Public Health (@ottawahealth) September 16, 2020
Bad news: our recent rise in cases is concerning. Very concerning.
Not-as-bad news (hint, this is a thread): in terms of spread within the community (i.e. not from institutional outbreaks like hospitals or LTC homes), most of our recent cases are (1/9)
"Our actions matter. And changes now will be reflected in our case count in two-to-three weeks," says OPH.