Large parts of Canada are starting to hunker down again as a fifth wave of COVID-19 appears to be building, with thousands of new cases being reported across the country.
Ontario this morning announced more than 4,100 new cases, the largest daily tally since mid-April, as new restrictions came into effect.
Quebec and Nova Scotia, meanwhile, reported new daily records today as they and others also scramble to contain skyrocketing case counts with lockdowns and other restrictions only a week before Christmas.
The surge in new cases is being fuelled by the highly infectious Omicron variant, which was identified as a potential concern only last month but is already on track to become the dominant strain in Canada.
While Omicron is more infectious, it remains unclear whether it leads to more severe symptoms.
While hospitalizations have remained steady in some parts of the country, Quebec has seen an increase in severe cases and experts worry the rest of the country could soon follow.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 19, 2021.
The Canadian Press