“This is not the news any of us wanted, but hospitalizations are on the rise, ICU beds are filling up, variants are spreading, and even people who had convinced themselves not to worry are getting sick, “said Canadian Prime Minister Justin. Trudeau told a news conference Tuesday, adding that this is a “very serious” third wave of the pandemic.
Intensive care unit admissions jumped 18% last week alone, and the new variants are putting “great pressure” on hospital capacity, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.
“A lot of them deteriorate quite quickly and have to be admitted to the ICU immediately, and then they spend quite a bit of time in the ICU, which means there is an impact on capacity as well,” Tam said.
While hospitalizations have not dramatically increased, more admitted patients now need intensive care as the variants make them more seriously ill, he said.
In Toronto, public health officials ordered all elementary and secondary schools to stop learning in person and switch to remote learning, starting Wednesday, as they attempt to “reverse the surge in infection currently facing the province,” he said. Toronto Public Health.
Ontario, whose capital is Toronto, is debating new and more restrictive measures, including a stay-at-home order, as its UCI capacity is increasingly limited.
The order will be in effect from April 7 to 18, according to the guidance issued Tuesday, and may be extended.
“Current circumstances require tough decisions to be made locally to protect all members of our school communities, including students, teachers and staff,” said Toronto Public Health.
British Columbia has taken steps to close the Whistler ski resort and further restrict meetings in the province, which is now also dealing with an outbreak of the virus among NHL hockey players with the Vancouver Canucks.
This week, Canada surpassed one million Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began. Tam called that milestone a “stark reminder” of everything Canadians have been through.
While variant B.1.1.7 has now likely become the dominant variant in Canada, Tam said his team is also closely monitoring a significant outbreak of variant P.1, first detected in Brazil and now increasing. in some western Canada countries. provinces.
On Monday, British Columbia’s health minister said the number of P.1 variant cases in his province nearly doubled over Easter weekend.
“The most transmissive variants of Covid-19 will finally take over,” Adrian Dix said in an update Monday.
CNN’s Elizabeth Stuart and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.