Decision to end COVID isolation not based on science, expert warns


Dr. Gerald Evans said new advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health doesn’t bode well for the fall, especially as COVID-19 transmission remains at a fairly high level across the country. the whole province.

Content of the article

Ontario’s decision to end isolation requirements for people with COVID-19 is not informed by science and will cause more disruption to society, a member of the science advisory table on Thursday warned. soon-to-be-disbanded province’s COVID-19.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Dr. Gerald Evans, an infectious disease specialist at Queen’s University and a member of the science table, was far from the only medical or scientific expert to criticize the new approach announced by Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore on Wednesday. .

Content of the article

Moore announced that people who test positive for COVID-19 no longer have to self-isolate for five days, but can return to normal life 24 hours after their symptoms begin to improve. They are encouraged to mask up in public for 10 days, but there is no mandate in place to enforce this. This advice applies to all respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases.

Evans said the ‘all viruses’ approach ignores recent scientific evidence that respiratory viruses differ in how long infected people shed the virus – that is, when they can infect. others.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Recent evidence based on the Omicron variant, which is now dominant, indicates that the COVID-19 virus spreads for « about seven solid days » after symptoms appear in most people. This means that the risk of transmission continues. This is not the case with most other viral respiratory illnesses such as influenza, he said.

« The approach taken by the government, I don’t think is science-based, » he said. “When we see people (like the) chief medical officer who represent public health come up with things that don’t make a whole lot of sense based on our knowledge of the virus and other viruses… it’s very confusing to the public. »

Ottawa emergency physician and co-chair of the public affairs committee with the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Atul Kapur said Moore’s advice « makes no sense », especially since he predicts an increase in cases and that the health system is already under unprecedented conditions. stump. Hospitals need every piece of protection to reduce the strain on the system, « and we’re seeing the exact opposite, » he said.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

Evans said the new council doesn’t bode well for the fall, especially as COVID-19 transmission remains at a fairly high level across the province. In the United States, where many children and post-secondary students are already in school, there have been outbreaks of COVID-19.

« Taking an approach of, well, when you feel better, go back to work and just put on a mask, I think, puts a lot of responsibility on the public, » Evans said.

Evans says he fears more disruption to schools and workplaces as people return to work and school while still able to transmit COVID-19, accelerating its spread and making the problem worse. absences from the workplace.

The guidelines do not apply to high risk settings such as hospitals.

But on Wednesday, Moore said Ontario’s previous vaccination levels and infection rates provided good protection against serious illnesses and he was convinced that the coming school year would be safe and healthy. He said the continued focus on hand hygiene, improved cleaning and air filtration, vaccination and people staying home when sick should allow schools to stay open. .

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

Evans said the province’s new approach appeared to follow its pandemic narrative rather than the science.

He said this underscored the continued need for an independent body such as the science table.

The advisory table, whose members have been familiar voices throughout the pandemic, announced last week that it was disbanding from next week.

On Thursday, Public Health Ontario said a new scientific advisory table known as Ontario’s Public Health Emergencies Scientific Advisory Committee would hold its first meeting in October and provide advice on COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

Members of the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table said a new committee within PHO would not have the necessary independence.

With files from The Canadian Press

    Advertisement 1


    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


    Back to top button