Seventh wave of COVID-19 in Ontario has peaked, chief medical officer of health says

TORONTO — Ontario’s seventh wave of COVID-19 has peaked, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Friday. dr Kieran Moore said in an interview that key indicators are peaking or already trending down.

TORONTO — Ontario’s seventh wave of COVID-19 has peaked, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Friday.

dr Kieran Moore said in an interview that key indicators are peaking or already trending down.

“I think we’ve already started the downturn,” he said.

“It’s always easier to look back and say where we’ve been, but from today’s perspective it’s certainly stabilized and we’re seeing a decrease in overall hospital admissions, stabilization in ICU, which are typically lagging indicators. and at the provincial level, wastewater is decreasing.”

According to Public Health Ontario, COVID-19 case rates have declined in 22 of Ontario’s 34 health units for the week ended July 30, with percent positivity declining slightly week-over-week and hospitalizations to 306 compared to 463 the previous week have declined.

46 COVID-19 deaths were reported in the week ended July 30, compared to 75 the week before.

Moore said he expects the overall risk and impact on the healthcare sector to continue to decrease through August.

Looking ahead to the fall, a new wave of COVID-19 may not be as bad as Moore would have predicted a few months ago, he said, although colder weather encouraging more indoor activity increases the risk.

Many Ontarians have already been infected with the Omicron variant — seroprevalence studies suggest half the population has natural immunity, he said — in combination with high vaccination rates and the fact that a new worrying variant has not yet emerged is, bodes well. said Moore.

“It will be difficult for a very similar virus to spread through our population,” he said.

“So we’re searching the globe with Public Health Ontario, the Canadian health agency, to see if there’s a new variant out there that poses a risk to us. But we see a period of calm over the coming weeks and months because we currently see no new threat on the horizon.”

There is still a risk of reinfection with Omicron, Moore said, but people who have been vaccinated and infected are much better protected than people who have been infected but have not been vaccinated.

Ontarians aged 18 and over are entitled to a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for three weeks — previously it was only available to those aged 60 and over and immunocompromised or Indigenous adults. Just under 16 percent of Ontario adults have received four doses, Moore said.

In the high-risk demographic of people ages 80 and older, about 61 percent have received a fourth dose, Moore said.

Also, vaccines for children under five became available a week ago, and Moore said 9,000 had received their first vaccination. That’s about one percent of the total Ontario population in that age group.

“That was expected in August with low numbers as parents are busy over the holidays and certainly expect those numbers to increase as we head into the fall,” he said.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 5, 2022.

Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

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