'Double whammy': Experts say infections will continue to rise due to Christmas, New Year's celebrations


TORONTO -- Health experts are warning that the current rise in COVID-19 cases across the country will likely increase through January and February due to gatherings during the Christmas holidays and New Year's.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Sumon Chakrabarti explained to CTV News Channel on Friday that current cases numbers measure those that would have become infected prior to the holiday season. Given the novel coronavirus’ one-to-14-day incubation period, he says, Canadians will start to see the impact of gathering over Christmas this week.

"We do know that there was a significant amount of transmission that occurred around Christmas time, and unfortunately with New Year's being just about a week [after], you're at your most infectious. And at that point you can get almost this -- for lack of a better phrase -- double whammy, and I do think January unfortunately is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride for us in health care," Chakrabarti said.