Canada SARS2-delta jumps faster than expected into 4th COVID-19 wave

In the past 24 hours, a pronounced spike in COVID-19 cases, primarily delta VOC cases, swept across Canada. Even the Northwest Territories, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland,  and the Yukon have seen rising case numbers.  Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have seen substantial increases. (See the charts below for exact data.)

“I have not wanted to say this before but this fourth wave could, without extraordinary mitigation, be the worst Canada has seen,” says Fred Harris from Singapore where he leads the COVID-19 emergency infectious disease tracking team for the CSPaC.

“Another 7% of the population vaccinated by month end and universal N95 FFR wearing are needed to stave off the worst of this current wave. That’s a matter of fact,” Dr. Harris added.

“The delta variant of concern; the lambda variant of interest; roughly a million or more unvaccinated children heading back to school amidst an infectious disease surge; vaccine hesitancy; a September 20 election and all its public gatherings; waning vaccine efficacy; and the Canadian population’s extremely poor mitigation of previous waves of the COVID-19 disease, all add up to a potential disaster,” said Dr. Harris in a zoom call from Singapore.

Over 900 children in Canada have been made ill by COVID-19 recently in Canada according to Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam. But school has yet to begin. 

One of the concerns that Dr. Tam is stressing is that spread of the disease must be stopped to prevent even more threatening Variants of Concern (VOC).

The incipient stage of a fourth wave in Canada The incipient stage of a fourth COVID-19 Pandemic wave in Canada. Source: Civil Society Partners in Solidarity against COVID-19

Active cases climb faster than expected as Canada rolls into a 4th wave. Source: Civil Society Partners in Solidarity against COVID-19

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (state-sponsored media) reports in Canada that masks are being required for schools in Ontario.

Before this surge

The beginning of the surge was 30 July. Mid-July, active SARS2 infection cases were still dropping in Canada. Since late July, almost three weeks ago, active cases have risen on average 5,000 per week in growth. In the past 24 hours active cases have risen by roughly 1300 patients. Source: Civil Society Partners in Solidarity against COVID-19

4 Dec 2023 Details COVID-19 Infections Summary for Canadian Provinces

4 Dec 2023 COVID-19 Data for Canada from CSPaC