After what seemed to a brief pause last week, the latest official statistics are indicative of a continuing, if now more moderate, decline in new COVID infections. 

The most-recent two-week estimate of Ontario municipal wastewater PCR viral counts in this week’s composite chart seemingly displays a much more moderate decline than previously, but it remains a decline. Those numbers have now fallen below the comparable counts for last year, which is certainly a good sign. While Ontario PCR test positivity rates have continued to fall more sharply, the overall Canadian rate of COVID hospitalizations and ICU bed occupancy appears to have plateaued. 

The more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada Hazard Index estimate of the number of Ontarians with currently active COVID infections was not updated this past week, continuing to estimate one in every 52 Ontarians being currently infected and hence infectious. 

The most recent Public Health Canada data on the spread of new COVID variants reinforces the utter dominance of the JN.1 lineage, which currently accounts almost 97% of all new Canadian cases. Interestingly, JN.1 itself recently peaked at 65% and is now slightly lower. That is because it is starting to be outcompeted with other strains in its lineage, the fastest-growing of which is now JN.1.4 which accounts for more than 18% of new Canadian cases.