The number of new COVID-19 cases being reported daily has dropped 70 percent since the mid-April peak of the third wave, Canada’s chief public health officials said today.
Speaking at a COVID-19 briefing with reporters, Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada is now reporting an average of 2,700 new cases each day — down from last month’s daily rate of nearly 9,000 new infections.
In the country’s largest province, Ontario, 699 cases were reported on Tuesday, the lowest case count since October 2020. Quebec reported just 208 new infections today.
But some provinces — notably Manitoba — are still in the grip of the third wave, with hospital capacity stretched to the limit.
Dr. Tam said the “considerable decline in infection rates” where the number of new COVID-19 cases has dropped 70 percent since the mid-April peak of the third wave is linked to vaccine uptake rates “increasing in leaps and bounds” in combination with strict public health measures in most provinces. As of May 31, some 58 percent of all eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of a vaccine.
Vaccine supply has increased significantly. Pfizer expects to deliver more than two million doses of the vaccine per week through the end of July. Meanwhile, Moderna promises millions of more doses by the end of the month.
While the number of new infections has fallen to levels not seen since the first week of March, the number of people with severe cases of COVID-19 has not declined at the same pace.
An average of 2,600 people are now in hospital with COVID-19, Tam said; 1,100 of those people in ICUs, a 25 percent decline from the April peak. The average daily number of deaths is also down by about a quarter, with 39 deaths being reported each day nationwide.
Dr. Howard Njoo, the deputy chief public health officer, said hospitalization and death rates are “late indicators” and typically decline at a slower rate when case counts begin to dip. A person may have mild symptoms for a week and then worsen rapidly.
Dr. Njoo said the “epidemiology has evolved” and COVID-19 cases driven by variants of concerns
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