The latest statistical indicators now suggest that the rapid decline in new COVID infections which marked the end of the severe seasonal surge may be bottoming out at a higher level than the pattern last year at this time. 

While the Ontario municipal wastewater PCR viral count graph in this week’s composite chart seemingly displays a continued rapid decline, the most recent two weeks are, as always, projections of the existing trend line. That could therefore miss a recent change in the trend. Ontario PCR test positivity rates show a possible bottoming out. Canada-wide COVID hospitalization rates also appear to be bottoming, and ICU occupancy is remaining stubbornly high. All that said, one week of data doesn’t make a trend. The picture will hopefully be clearer by next week at this time. 

The more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada Hazard Index estimate of the number of Ontarians with currently active COVID infections, one in every 52, has not been changed in the past week. 

The most recent Centers for Disease Control data on the spread of new COVID variants shows the continued utter dominance of the JN.1 lineage, which accounts almost 98% of all new US infections. Interestingly, JN.1 itself recently peaked at 92.6% and has since slightly declined. The one to watch is now JN.1.13 which, while currently little more than 3%, has achieved a daunting 725% increase over the past eight weeks.