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COVID-19 rates down, delta variant making up majority of cases, Tam says

Friday, July 02, 2021 @ 3:34 PM | By Amanda Jerome

In a statement released July 2, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, said variants of concern (VOCs) “represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases across the country.”

“While the alpha variant continues to account for the majority of genetically sequenced variants in some areas of Canada, four VOCs (B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), and B.1.617.2 (delta)) have been detected in most provinces and territories. More recently, the delta variant has been increasing and now accounts for the majority of current COVID-19 cases in other areas, such as in Ontario,” she said, noting that, nevertheless, “vaccination, in combination with public health and individual measures, are working to reduce spread of COVID-19.”

“The latest national-level data show a continued downward trend in disease activity with an average of 610 cases reported daily during the latest seven-day period (June 24-30), down 25 per cent compared to the week prior,” she explained, adding that the “overall number of people experiencing severe and critical illness is also steadily declining.”

“Provincial and territorial data indicate that an average of 935 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent seven-day period (June 24-30), which is 19 per cent fewer than last week. This includes, on average 462 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 15 per cent fewer than last week. Likewise, the latest seven-day average of 14 deaths reported daily (June 24-30) is continuing to decline, showing a 17 per cent decrease compared to the week prior,” Tam said.

“As Canada Day gatherings and events may be continuing into the weekend, I encourage people across Canada, regardless of their vaccination status, to keep following local public health advice, including adhering to gathering size limits and maintaining recommended individual precautions, to keep your risks lower,” she said, noting that owners and operators that are organizing events are “urged to take extra care and precautions by assessing the risks and putting plans in place to reduce them, such as planning for outdoor gatherings and implementing measures which encourage physical distancing, especially if indoors.”

“As your vaccination status will not be known to those operating businesses or venues, you may still be required to wear a face mask and maintain physical distancing, as these measures are in place for the protection of everyone. During this time of transition, many people may feel more comfortable continuing with individual precautions such as mask wearing and physical distancing,” she added.

“Let's continue to support each other by respecting each other's personal risk comfort levels,” Tam encouraged.

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