The Omicron variant has “eclipsed” all previous waves of COVID-19 in Canada, and new modeling predicts a “sharp rise” in additional cases this month, before declining in February.
“While Canada could experience a peak and decline in cases over the next few weeks, as disease activity far exceeds previous peaks, even the decline in this curve will be substantial,” read Friday. in modeling materials provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada. .
Modeling also shows that serious illnesses tend to increase given current widespread national transmission rates and the expected continued rapid acceleration of new infections in the coming weeks, even with the current level of public health measures and societal restrictions.
Due to the record number of infections, new daily hospital admissions are also expected to break records. However, federal officials warn they still don’t have a full picture of Omicron’s hospitalization rate compared to past strains of COVID-19.
On average, over the past seven days, 6,779 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, 883 were in intensive care and there have been 82 deaths.
The highest incidence of reported cases is among adults aged 20 to 39, with hospitalizations increasing at the highest rates among those over 80.
Chief public health officer Dr Theresa Tam said Canada should prepare for up to 3,562,450 cumulative cases and up to 32,600 deaths by the last week of January, although these numbers are to some extent uncertain due to reduced access to testing and reporting for COVID. -19 contaminations.
She warns that Canadians must do everything in their power to limit their contact in order to curb the even faster transmission of the Omicron.
Since the last federal modeling update in December, the Delta variant was the dominant strain, but in the weeks since, Omicron has overtaken as the predominant variant in this country and topped past projections.
The highly transmissible variant has led to record levels of new infections across the country, seeing more active cases than at any time during the past two years of this pandemic and raising lingering concerns about overwhelming hospital capacity.
Many regions have reverted to virtual schooling for students and have closed or significantly reduced the capacity of businesses like gymnasiums, theaters and restaurants, as was the case in previous waves of the pandemic.
As federal officials have sought to encourage the Canadian public frustrated, tired and angered by the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has warned that they will likely have to “fall back” this winter before seeing “a best spring ”.
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