According to the most-recently available official statistics, the unexpected spring rebound in new COVID infections appears to have been leveling off. 

The overall Ontario most recent two-week estimate for COVID viral counts in Ontario municipal wastewater PCR test results may be in slight decline (confirming or denying that observation will have to await next week’s estimate). Likewise, actual human PCR test results may or may not be plateauing. COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU admissions, which tend to lag PCR test results by a week or two, continued their fairly sharp rise. 

The now-monthly update to the more independent COVID-19 Resources Canada Hazard Index suggests a moderate increase in the number of infected Ontarians, now one in 68 people compared to May’s one in 76. 

Our bar chart of the relative ‘market shares’ of the COVID variants currently afflicting Canadians is once again all in shades of blue, reflecting the utter dominance of the JN.1 family of strains. What’s different about this family compared to all the earlier phases of the pandemic is that it evolves and differentiates so quickly that no one strain retains sufficient competitive advantage (i.e., being more adept at evading human immunity) long enough to ever be clearly dominant. This past week it was the turn of KP.3 (34%) and the even newer LB.1 (16%) to outcompete their KP.2 cousin (15%), which has already peaked and will now decline. It impossible to predict when this family of strains will be shouldered aside by a different emerging lineage, but that will undoubtedly happen sometime later this year.