Canada’s top health officials have warned that if current levels of virus transmission are not reduced, reported daily COVID-19 caseloads in this country could reach unprecedent highs in September.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). which released released new modelling data on Friday, also said the fourth wave of the pandemic could soon plateau at a lower infection rate than the peaks of the second and third waves, if public health rules are able to reduce the level of transmission across Canada by 25 per cent.
PHAC reported there is “ongoing rapid acceleration” of COVID-19 in Canada, including in cases causing severe illness.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam hammered home the importance for young adults to get vaccinated, describing an “urgent need” for more people between the ages of 18 and 39 to get a jab in order to prevent a rapid worsening of Canada’s COVID-19 situation.
As Canadians get set to mark the last holiday weekend of summer and a return to school for children next week, Tam urged the public to limit their contacts.
“Right now is not the time to gather in huge numbers with people that are not in your household, without taking significant layers of protection,” she said at a Friday press briefing.
The update comes days after Ontario announced a vaccine certificate program that is to begin Sept. 22.
Meanwhile, Albertans will get cash if they get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The payout is $100 for a first or second dose, according to Premier Jason Kenney at a Friday news conference.
Once again, masks will be mandatory for all indoor public spaces and workplaces in Alberta starting Saturday.
Kenney said the cash incentive will be a debit card starting Friday and people can register online. It will be available until Oct. 14.
The Alberta leader noted unvaccinated people make up more than 80 per cent of all hospital admissions since July 1.