COVID-19 updates for the week of July 11

·2 min read

In Canada as of July 8, there were 21,317 new cases of COVID-19 reported over last week and 127 new deaths reported. As of July 7, over the previous seven days, there were 3,586 people in hospital with COVID-19 and 225 people in the ICU.

In Ontario, as of July 7, there were 1,154 new cases reported that day. There were 741 hospitalizations and 110 people reported in the ICU as July 7. There were 13,438 deaths reported this week as of July 2 since the beginning of the pandemic, an increase of 31 cases since last week.

In Hastings Prince Edward, as of July 5, there were 59 new high-risk cases and active high-risk cases amounted to 51 people. There were two outbreaks in high-risk settings like LTC homes, and there were 63 deaths reported. There are three people currently hospitalized at Quinte Health Care hospitals and nobody in the ICU.

New Omicron subvariant spreading through Canada

An Omicron subvariant called BA.5, and to a lesser extent BA.4 is spreading through Canada, is more highly transmissible and is fueling the current seven wave of infections. It even infects those who have recently recovered from COVID-19, having mutated to the extent that people’s bodies are not recognizing it and they are falling victim to the virus again, according to Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.

On a positive note, from places like South Africa, where these subvariants have taken hold, studies indicate that they are not more severe than previous Omicron subvariants, nor do they lead to more hospitalizations or fatalities.

However, the number of people who could get infected by these subvariants or reinfected, could overwhelm the healthcare system and healthcare providers, which is cause for concern. For this reason, public health officials are urging Canadians to get a third booster COVID-19 shot for more protection against these subvariants.

While Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world when it comes to having received two doses, more than 40 per cent of eligible Canadians have not gotten their third booster shot dose of the vaccine. However, even with concerns over these latest subvariants, no new restrictions are being contemplated at this time in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, where numbers have been climbing due to BA.5 and BA.4. Public health officials and provincial governments are counting on the Canadian public to make informed decisions to protect their health and the health of others, like wearing a mask and physical distancing, after we’ve already been through over two years of the pandemic and its restrictions.

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times

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