Second wave hasn’t arrived in Alberta yet, epidemiologists say, but surge likely coming

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“When you look at the zones, I think there are starting to be some patterns that are a little more concerning. When I look at the Edmonton zone, they’ve been on a steady increase now in July, and it’s a more persistent increase day-over-day,” Eurich said.

“To me, the one hot spot is Edmonton zone, they seem to be on a little bit of a different trajectory than the rest of the province. But again I wouldn’t consider what’s happening in Edmonton to be a second wave yet.”

It’s worth watching case numbers closely in coming days, Jenne said, as the impacts of the return to the classroom will begin to appear in data.

Though Trudeau warned the second wave could be dramatically worse than what was seen in spring, both epidemiologists said there was no science explicitly suggesting the fall wave would be more harmful. The deciding factor, Jenne said, is how people behave over upcoming months.

“It’s not because the virus is worse, but it’s because we’re most hesitant in our response or more unwilling to close things down that may lead to a worse spike in cases in the fall,” he said.

Hinshaw said the province would be willing to impose “targeted” measures for areas of Alberta in ‘watch’ status, meaning the region has at least 10 active cases and more than 50 active cases per 100,000 residents.

Nineteen regions of the province are currently under watch, including both Calgary’s upper and lower northeast. Their status could be updated to ‘enhanced’ as measures are imposed, but hasn’t yet been necessary, Hinshaw said.

“That framework does allow us to be more targeted if we should need to consider additional restrictions, to look at what our data is telling us about where spread is happening,” she said.

It’s possible some activities could be restricted if data suggests those activities are driving spread, Hinshaw said.

jherring@postmedia.com

Twitter: @jasonfherring

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