“This unit is over capacity as cases in the surrounding community climb out of control. To make way, they’ve had to reduce surgeries and create intensive care space in the hospital’s surgical recovery unit.

While mass-vaccination offers distant hope, Spiegelman is concerned that these new strains, especially the U.K. variant, could compound an already troubling trend.

‘It’s way more transmissible and contagious, which is concerning because we know the original virus was very contagious to start off with,’ Spiegelman said. ‘So, if this explodes into our society where our numbers double or triple, that will trickle down to patients dying from it.’

While the U.K. variant is thought to be no more severe than the original virus, a recent study suggests that it’s more than 50 per cent more contagious. If it were to take hold in the population, it could add a new level of explosive growth to an already dire situation.”

Inside the hunt for coronavirus variants in Canada via Global News.

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