New COVID-19 figures from Canada's two largest provinces are pointing to another upswing in infections.
Health officials in Ontario are reporting 5,790 new cases today, a tally that is well above the previous single-day high of 4,812 set back in April.
In Montreal, officials confirmed that one of every five Montrealers getting tested for COVID-19 is positive — and the latest data confirm that 90 per cent of infections in the city involve the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.
Dr. Mylène Drouin of Montreal public health says 60 per cent of the positive cases in the city are among people between the ages of 18 and 44, adding that contact tracers cannot keep up with the crush of new infections.
The Quebec government is reporting 9,397 new cases today — a record — and a rise of 28 COVID-19-related hospitalizations, for a total of 473.
Meanwhile, two new British studies seem to confirm earlier research suggesting the Omicron variant is milder than the Delta version. But researchers say that good news may be overshadowed by the fact that Omicron spreads much faster than Delta and is better at evading vaccines.
As a result, the sheer number of infections linked to Omicron could still overwhelm hospitals.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2021.
The Canadian Press