Globally, 4,800 deaths were reported in the 28 days between June 5 and July 2, which is down slightly from the WHO’s previous weekly report. COVID hospitalizations as well as deaths continue to decline almost everywhere. That is likely due to at least some level of immunity derived from vaccination and prior infection now being so prevalent (97% of Americans, according to CDC estimates and the fact that even waning immunity significantly reduces the incidence of sufficiently severe infections as to require hospitalization. Many people continue to experience relatively mild cases but the numbers will never be known because they are no longer reported. 

This week’s composite chart includes the Canadian graph of variant incidence because, while the US CDC version is more up-to-date and comprehensive, this is the off week in which those numbers are not published. That’s a pity because it would be interesting to know more about the new, rapidly proliferating EG.5 XBB strain. 

A US Census report was released this week which revealed the 11% of all Americans who had ever had COVID reported having long COVID symptoms. That’s very useful because previous estimated varied wildly whereas census data is usually quite reliable. Those number probably reflect the Canadian experience. 

As for the rest of the charts, there hasn’t been much change. Ontario’s wastewater viral counts continue their shallow decline but PCR test positivity may well have reached the inflection point with a slight rise.