Right now, the main discussion around COVID in Canada has to do with the dangers of a “Fourth Wave”. Despite increased vaccination, and falling infection rates, there is still a concern that variants such as the Delta could lead to a rise in cases. While such a fourth wave would mainly affect unvaccinated demographics, those are not an insignificant part of the overall population. The Delta variant can spread much faster, making it even more of a concern for the unvaccinated. Canada has had about 1.43 million cases of COVID so far, with about 1.4 million recoveries and over 26,500 deaths.
Ontario has experienced a rise in COVID cases, reporting over 200 cases on Saturday. While hospitalization is stable in the province, there is concern over older demographics who have not been vaccinated. Quebec recorded over 100 cases on Friday - despite worry of a fourth wave, Quebec is going ahead with reopening, despite concern of a possible fourth wave.
British Columbia reported over 240 cases of COVID on Friday, mostly concentrated in the interior of the province. Alberta is also recording a surge, with over 230 cases of COVID recorded on Thursday. There is still confusion and concern over the path Alberta will take out of lockdown.
Saskatchewan recorded 80 cases on Saturday and is moving from classifying COVID from a pandemic to an endemic in the province - future information on case numbers may be more difficult to estimate. Manitoba recorded 46 cases on Friday and is also adjusting its update schedule like Saskatcehwan is.
Nova Scotia and the rest of the Maritimes - New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador - are all reporting negligible amounts of new cases. Despite the low case numbers, there is some concern over the lowering of restrictions.
Canada has given roughly 49.3 million vaccinations, with roughly 22.3 million Canadians being fully vaccinated, representing nearly 60% of the population. Canada has surged ahead of the United States, which it used to lag behind, in the rate of vaccination. However, there are still concerns over plateauing demand. The estimates for how many Canadians must be vaccinated has increased to up to 80 or 90%.
Until we hit that level of vaccination, indoor areas may still prove to be places of transition for the Delta Variant. It will important to keep masks on hand for crowded indoor areas, to protect those who are still unvaccinated, until Canada reaches a higher level of full vaccination.