Skip to content

Ontario re-opening plan 'very thought out': Laurier prof

Dr. Todd Coleman says Step 1 in Ontario's plan could be at least a month away, maybe more
Wilfrid Laurier University
File photo of Wilfrid Laurier University (Waterloo campus). Blair Adams/KitchenerToday

An assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University says Ontario's step-by-step layout of how they'll re-open the economny seems "very thought out."

But Dr. Todd Coleman cautions we're still a long way from starting the clock on Step 1.

"It could be at least a month, it could be a few months," he told The Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS.

"What we need to see is the cases actually going down.  We seem to be at 400-500 cases per day (in Ontario), so far.  A little lower than what we saw, even a week ago."

"But we really need to see, absolutely, almost bare bones, in terms of the amount of cases that are being transmitted."

Dr. Coleman references China, a country starting to open up their economy, all while dealing with an average of 40 new cases a day.

In the last two weeks, there's only been one day in China where they've gained more than 100 cases (351 on April 16).

He says dealing with the how and not the when was also a good move.  He says it's not wise to rush a decision.

"This just really needs one case to be transmitted to two more cases, who will transmit it to two more cases, for us to just climb right back up, if we hit a low," Dr. Coleman says.

For it to reach the point where we can think of starting to lift restrictions, he says we need a few things in place, on top of the lowering of daily case numbers.

"We're not meeting, in Ontario, the testing requirements that we were trying to get at," he said, "It's important to just keep on testing people, making sure that we have a really good sense of who has been infected."

"Then at the same point, try and maximize, up to almost 100 per cent of known cases in quarantine, so that you prevent any further transmission, and you can contact trace, so looking at who they've been in contact with, from the public health perspective."

Dr. Coleman says we have the capacity for testing, and the province is getting closer to their goal of 13,000 tests a day.

But they can't stop there.

"We should be trying to even ramp this up a little bit more," he said, "To ensure there's no backlog in tests."

He says having as many as 5,000 tests pending doesn't help get a clear picture on who has the virus.

Rogers Media
230 The Boardwalk Kitchener, ON, N2N 0B1 © 2006-2021 Rogers Media. All rights reserved.