The third Omicron wave has begun and is expected to increase rapidly and peak in August, says a COVID modelling expert.
“I think there was hope we wouldn’t have another wave until the fall, but the wave is starting now,” said Sally Otto, who advises masking up again, along with getting booster shots.
Otto, an evolutionary biologist and mathematical modeller at the University of British Columbia, presented her data to the main North American meeting of evolutionary biologists in Cleveland, Ohio, this past week.
Data from public health labs across Canada tracking Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 show they will soon outgrow the initial Omicron subvariants in Canada, said Otto, who is a member of the COVID-19 modelling group in B.C.
“Right now we’re in a reasonable low point, the lowest point in 2022,” Otto said in an interview. “So we can afford to be a little more relaxed right now, but not for long, because this is rising so fast that we’re going to face a higher risk.
“You go to the grocery store now and your risk is reasonably low. You go to the grocery store in three weeks and there is a high chance that somebody else will have COVID.”