OTTAWA — Canada's chief public health officer says there are positive signs the Omicron wave is peaking in Canada but we shouldn't start choreographing a COVID-19 victory dance just yet.
Dr. Theresa Tam says case rates, the share of tests coming back positive, and wastewater surveillance are all pointing towards the spread of COVID-19 slowing nationally.
Testing limitations mean case numbers are no longer a great indication of the status of the pandemic but Tam said it is still worth noting that the number of new positive tests has declined 28 per cent in the last week.
But she warns hospitalizations and the number of patients needing critical care are still rising and with so many health workers getting sick themselves, there remains an immense strain on the country's health system.
Health Canada data show January will go down as one of the deadliest months in the pandemic to date, with new deaths climbing above 100 per day this week for the first time in almost a year.
Tam says the absolute number of deaths is so high because the number of people getting sick is likely higher than ever before, but she says it is also a sign that we cannot "trivialize" the virus because it is still capable of causing serious harm.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.
Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version misspelled the surname of Dr. Gerald Evans.