The official COVID-related statistics released this past week are again largely unchanged from those of the previous two weeks. We appear to be at the seasonal low for new infections. If the pattern from last year were to be repeated, then those numbers would again start to rise in the late-July timeframe. 

The two-week overall Ontario two-week estimate for COVID viral counts in municipal wastewater PCR test results included in our composite chart remain plateaued at a somewhat higher level than this time last year. Likewise, human PCR positive test results remain stable at a significantly higher levels than last year at this time. Ontario COVID-related hospital admissions and ICU occupancy, however, remain stable at similar levels to last year’s. 

The two-week estimate by the more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada statisticians of the number of Ontarians currently battling COVID bouts and therefore being infectious is unchanged at one in every 86 people. 

We continue our practice of each week alternating the latest US Centers for Disease data on circulating COVID variants with those of Public Heath Canada because the former frequently serves as a good preview of what we can expect here. This week’s data confirms the continued utter dominance of the JN.1 family of Omicron variants in terms of percentage of “market share”. That family includes the current leader, KP.3 which, along with its near-cousin KP.2 that it only recently surpassed, together account for more than 61% of all new US cases. KP.3 continues to spread more quickly than any of its other cousins/competitors, which is a sure sign that its genetic makeup is more successful at evading human “herd immunity” gained from some mix of vaccinations and prior infection.