Ontario’s top doctor says COVID-19 indicators are moving in the right direction in what appears to be a “cool summer,” although he is concerned about the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore says the level of novel coronavirus in wastewater is declining, as are test positivity rates and the number of people hospitalized due to the virus.
Ontario reported 1,451 people in hospital with COVID-19 on Thursday, down from 1,538 in hospital on Wednesday.
Of those in the hospital, 175 required intensive care – a decrease from the previous day’s total – and 75 patients needed ventilator help to breathe.
Moore predicts “low levels of endemic activity” throughout the summer, but says he is already preparing for fall when there is more activity indoors and the risk of transmission is higher.
He says staying up-to-date with vaccinations is key in stopping the spread, whether virus activity is high or low, and encouraged people to get a booster dose because immunity wanes four to six months after the last dose. .
Ontario has been offering a fourth dose to everyone age 60 and older since early April, but Moore says only 21.8 percent of people in that age group have received four shots.
Moore says that Omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which have been found in South Africa, are 10 percent more transmissible than the already highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant, which began in Ontario in late winter. Had happened.
7-day average continues to decline
The province reported at least 2,160 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday – up 165 from Wednesday. These were confirmed through 16,360 tests processed within the last 24 hours. Due to testing limits, officials say the actual number of daily new cases is likely to be far higher than the reported figures.
The seven-day average for the case count has continued to decline and now stands at 1,853. This is the second day in a row that the rolling average has dropped below 2,000.
Ontario is also reporting 14 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total to 13,034 deaths during the pandemic so far.