The most-recently available official COVID-related statistics are consistent with a continuing summer seasonal lull in new infections, albeit at modestly higher rates that last year at this time. 

The most recent overall Ontario two-week estimate for COVID viral counts in municipal wastewater PCR test results has essentially plateaued at this summer’s slightly higher levels. Actual human PCR positive test results remain substantially higher than their spring lows but are now remaining reasonably stable. That pattern mostly holds with hospital data, new admissions having dropped slightly but ICU bed occupancy having risen. 

The more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada Hazard Index has not been updated, the most recent estimate being one in 164 Ontarians currently undergoing COVID bouts and therefore being infectious. 

Today’s estimate by the US Centers for Disease Control reaffirms the continuing domination of the JN.1 Omicron family of variants, accounting for more than 98% of all new US infections. That data is consistent with slightly older estimates by Public Heath Canada. The single most common strain is currently KP.3, with a 33% “market share”. What is interesting and somewhat reassuring is that the newer XD recombinant variants which come from a different mix of Omicron strains appear to be less infectious than the JN.1 strains as evidenced by their now-declining market share in both Canada and the USA. I had highlighted them in the past several updates because, while there is no evidence of the JN.1 strains causing worse symptoms than their XBB predecessors, there is absolutely no guarantee of that holding true for future mutations. The XDs are now likely to fade into obscurity.