Previously, the biggest COVID fear in Canada was the possible emergence of variants. However, as vaccinations continue, experts are pointing out that the real danger is not the variants themselves - but the combination of variants with unvaccinated Canadians. What is seen as key is trying to get as many Canadians vaccinated as possible, while dealing with the issue of Canadians who refuse to get vaccinated. There are a variety of plans being floated, including tapping directly into the US’s vaccination drive.
Right now, Canada stands at 1.4 million COVID-19 cases, with 1.36 recovered, and a death toll close to 26,000. The amount of new cases and deaths have slowed considerably in the face of vaccinations, but there is still uncertainty over how new variants will affect this.
Ontario has reported 530 new cases of COVID today, putting the number of active cases at its lowest level since last summer. There is still some uncertainty over what the large number of recovering COVID patients will mean for the healthcare system in the province. In Quebec, there were 151 new cases recorded. While cases are lowering in Quebec, there was a recent breakout within a hospital ward. This had led to conversations about who vaccinations should be mandatory for. There is also a move to try and expand who can get second vaccinations as well.
British Columbia has recorded 180 cases of COVID yesterday, with the spread of the delta variant stabilizing. Still, the prognosis of COVID in the province is positive, with the hope of a near total elimination of the virus by September. Alberta recorded 179 cases today. While cases are dropping, there are still concerns that there is not enough vaccination - Alberta has recently begun to use lottery winnings as a way to encourage getting vaccinated.
Saskatchewan recorded 106 cases of COVID yesterday. Saskatchewan is hoping to use its established drive-thru vaccine system to boost the administration of second doses. Manitoba meanwhile recorded close to 300 cases yesterday - while availability to vaccines remains high, it has been difficult moving people to take vaccinations.
Nova Scotia has reported 10 new cases of COVID yesterday, while New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. In fact, Prince Edward Island has reported no new cases since June. In Nova Scotia there is a push to move second doses closer, to help speed elimination of COVID in the maritimes.
Canada has given 28.6 million doses of vaccine so far, with 4.33 people being fully vaccinated, representing over 11% of the Canadian population. This shows a steadily increasing vaccination rate, though there are concerns over how long this will last. Until more Canadians start to become fully vaccinated, it's up to us to protect against variants using proper social distancing and mask wearing.