There has been a substantial increase in the number of COVID cases right across the country, but with testing challenges, that number could actually be much higher.
In a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Canada’s top doctor, Theresa Tam, said the latest seven-day average of 40,696 cases per day is a 78% increase from last week.
1/7 #COVID19 key concerns 🇨🇦 : COVID-19 cases have rapidly accelerated, with #Omicron now predominating and widespread across much of the country. The latest 7-day average of 40,696 cases/day is a 78% increase over last week.
— Dr. Theresa Tam (@CPHO_Canada) January 5, 2022
Dr. Tam warns that the number could actually be substantially higher, as many provinces continue to deal with testing capacity issues.
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In a tweet, she says, “Though very high activity levels that challenge testing capacity may underestimate true case numbers, other indicators remain useful to monitor trends in overall disease activity (e.g., test positivity) & severity (hospitalizations etc.).”
In BC, there have been massive lineups at testing sites for weeks, and people in some health regions have been told to not get a test unless they are displaying certain symptoms.
The Omicron variant of concern is now the predominant strain of COVID-19 in Canada and is found in the majority of COVID-19 tests across most of the country.
Tam says, “Not surprisingly, as exponential growth of #Omicron continues, these trends are all rising; in the past most recent 7-days % lab test positivity increased by 28%, while average daily hospital/ICU numbers increased by 82% and 20% respectively.”
“With more challenges expected before things improve, it’s even more important to do everything we can now to reduce our risk of exposure & spreading the virus. Think more & better layers of protection, used consistently,” states Tam.
The federal government, along with local health authorities, continues to advocate for the use of layered masks.
Dr. Tam also outlined some simple ways we can reduce our risks.
On Wednesday, the federal government announced that 140 million rapid testing kits were being sent to provinces across the country.