Early signs suggest fall COVID-19 wave starting in Canada — before updated boosters are available – CBC

Positive tests, hospitalizations creeping up as drugmakers seek new vaccine approvals

Aug 18, 2023

There are early signals Canada is already entering a fall COVID-19 wave, while updated booster shots likely remain weeks away.

Earlier this week, the Public Health Agency of Canada said fluctuations in virus activity across the country could be an “early sign” of increased infections.

The percentage of COVID tests coming back positive, for example, had been gradually declining since the spring, but started going up again over the last month — most recently hitting nearly nine per cent. Hospitalizations increased in August as well, jumping roughly 11 per cent in a week, as the number of hospital beds occupied by COVID patients hit more than 1,700 by Aug. 15.

Cross-Canada wastewater signals are also rising. By late July, at least seven of the 39 sites tracked by federal officials had reported an increase, and that number has nearly doubled since then to at least 13.

Western University microbiologist Eric Arts said Ontario’s wastewater in particular is showing an increase in virus samples, but with reduced reporting and limited testing across much of the country, the full picture is hazy. What is clear, Arts added, is that caseloads in the U.S. are already going up “dramatically,” meaning Canada’s wave may not be far behind.

Read more: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/fall-covid-wave-boosters-1.6939751

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More