Delta COVID-19 variant cases are rising, prompting caution on reopening plans

Delta COVID-19 variant cases are rising, prompting caution on reopening plans

“The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” — the Calgary Stampede — will open on July 9, with a few changes given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The , and the event will reflect all current public health guidance, he said, but the Stampede will go ahead.

Other provinces are cautiously reopening too, allowing outdoor dining, some shopping and other limited gatherings. But experts wonder if the more transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 might jeopardize some of those big reopening plans, as cases appear to be growing across Canada.

Evidence from the U.K. suggests that the Delta variant spreads much more easily than other variants that have appeared in Canada so far. It currently represents around 91 per cent of new cases in the U.K., said the country’s secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock on Thursday.

Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, a prominent U.K. epidemiologist, told reporters that estimates of Delta’s transmission edge over Alpha — also known as B.1.1.7 — had narrowed, and “we think 60 per cent is probably the best estimate.”

And cases seem to be increasing.

The B.C. COVID-19 Modelling Group , in a report on June 2, wrote, “The new variant of concern B.1.617.2 appears to be increasing in number in many jurisdictions, including BC.”

There have been 501 cases of the Delta variant in B.C. as of June 3, according to the BCCDC. Alberta has had 208 cases as of June 8, according to provincial data.

Ontario predicts that the Delta variant will soon take over in the province.

“The variant that hit India so hard is here and it is on track to be the dominant form of the virus this summer. But we believe we can control it with the right actions,” said Dr. Adalsteinn Brown, of the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table, at a press conference Thursday.
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