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The most recent weekly official statistics mostly confirm that this winter’s seasonal surge in new COVID infections has peaked and may even have receded a bit, but still remains very high.
As illustrated in our updated composite chart, COVID viral counts as tested in municipal wastewater appear to be dropping from their highest level in more than a year. PCR positivity rates among the minority of Ontarians still eligible for testing, hospitalizations and ICU bed occupancy across Canada have likewise plateaued. COVID-19 Resources Canada, however, still estimates that roughly one in 12 Ontarians currently have COVID infections and are therefore infectious.
The latest US CDC statistics on which particular COVID variants are responsible for all those infections reinforce the extent and incredible speed of the JD.1 variant’s spread. After nearly a full year during which the XBB family of Omicron variants had reigned supreme, JD.1 (which stems from the earlier BA.2 lineage) has outperformed its alphabet soup of competitors by unexpectedly shooting to dominance over a matter of weeks, achieving an 86% market share. All other variants have declined because most people now have reasonable immunity to COVID infection and JD.1 is by far the most adept at evading that immunity. Fortunately, JD.1 does not appear to be more likely than any of its preceding Omicron variant to cause the more severe COVID symptoms, up to and including death. That’s why ICU admissions have thus far been significantly lower than back in the days of the Delta variant, even though the actual number of new infections is now actually much higher than at that time.