The most-recently available official statistics confirm that the unexpected spring rebound in new COVID infections has leveled off at higher infection rates than last year at the same time. 

The overall Ontario most recent two-week estimate for COVID viral counts in Ontario municipal wastewater PCR test results shows a moderate decline. Likewise, actual human PCR test results stopped rising in the last week of May, as did COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU admissions. 

The more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada Hazard Index has not been updated in the past week. It had estimated one in 68 Ontarians undergoing COVID bouts and therefore being infectious. 

This week’s bar chart of the relative ‘market shares’ of the COVID variants currently afflicting our US neighbours is no longer entirely drawn in shades of blue. The red slice depicts XDV.1, a new, very different “recombinant” strain based on the long-dormant BA.2 family of Omicron variants. Thus far, I haven’t been able to find any information either on what it combined with or implications for symptom severity. Right now, XDV.1 is estimated to represent little more than 3% of new US infections, but that number is 287% higher than six weeks ago. While the currently-dominant JN.1 family still accounts for more than 90% of all new cases, every family of COVID strains is sooner or later replaced by a novel strain better equipped to evade human immunity, and XDV.1 is the first such challenger to thus far emerge. Within the JN.1 family, with a 25% share, KP.3 has just displaced KP.2 for the top spot.