Ron’s COVID-19 Page
What’s new on this site
See our new Variants page, which is intended as a primer to promote understanding of the dizzying array of new variants which the pandemic is creating at an accelerating rate. The other charts on this site have been significantly pared down to those for which credible and reasonably timely pandemic-related statistics are still available. We have reluctantly dropped all international comparisons because the quality and availability of the data are now simply too poor.
Who We Are
This site shares the results of an ongoing personal project to better understand why the pandemic has developed in such a damaging way in Canada, what other jurisdictions have done to better protect their citizens from those impacts and what we can collectively do to reduce the carnage of the unnecessary third wave which is now upon us. It neither represents nor receives funding from any other person or organization. The sole purpose is to provide the latest and most meaningful data and insights related to the pandemic and its impact on our society in a readily accessible format. You will find many meaningful charts and analyses which provide context for the statistics summarized in the above table by clicking on the Global, Canada, Ontario and Kingston menus. For more details, see the About page.
Week of November 19 to 25
Our primary indicators for the state of the pandemic over the past week are somewhat mixed, with some suggesting that the seasonal COVID resurgence since mid-August is now peaking whereas others show the steep rise in new infections continuing. That in part is as a result of provincial governments cutting back on the timeliness and extent of politically unwelcome statistical reporting.
PCR testing of municipal wastewater is usually a leading indicator of infection rates. As you can see in our composite chart, COVID viral counts are now at their highest so far this year and continuing their steep climb. Positivity rates for PCR tests among the minority of Ontarians who still qualify are also very high, but do not appear to be rising as rapidly as in recent weeks. COVID hospitalization rates, on the other hand, do seem to have plateaued. The caveat there is that published hospitalizations and other vital statistics such as death rates are almost always retroactively increased as late-arriving data are incorporated.
The most useful guide for managing our personal risks with respect to contracting COVID remains COVID-19 Resources Canada, whose latest forecast of the number of Canadians who are currently infected and infections covers the period from November 18 to December 1. For Ontario, that forecast is now one in every 23 people, down moderately from the previous one in 17.
The latest Canadian data on circulating COVID variants (to November 4) tracks the relative “market shares” of the dozen most prevalent strains, all of which stem from XBB recombinant Omicron family which first emerged late last year. The EG.5 family of subvariants which appeared in February is now dominant in Canada, accounting for 68% of new infections. It has already differentiated into some 50 identified strains, some of which are outcompeting the original EG.5 by virtue of being better able to bypass waning Canadian immunity from past vaccinations and COVID bouts. The currently-most-successful EG.5 strain is HV.1, which now accounts for 40% of new Canadian COVID infections.