Record daily COVID-19 cases are being seen in several parts of Canada, with the country recording a new high - 14,456 cases yesterday as the Omicron variant spreads.
In Ontario, the province reported 5,790 new cases on Thursday, an all time high throughout the pandemic, with tests positivity now over 16 per cent.
Quebec confirmed a record 9,397 more cases on Thursday, with 54,520 samples tested on Dec. 21.
In a statement on from the from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) on the Omicron variant, the group indicates this is a reminder the "the COVID-19 pandemic is not over."
"We realize that managing a new variant of concern is not where we were hoping to be at the end of 2021," the statement reads. "High vaccine coverage for both primary series and booster doses will help to protect the capacity of our health care system in the face of the possible impact of Omicron."
"As we head into the holidays, we need to leverage the tools that can help us get back to enjoying the things we love most and minimize disruptions to the services and activities that are important to individuals and families."
People have taken to social media, including infectious disease and health experts, to respond to the rapidly spread COVID-19 variant and the response from provincial governments.
With Omicron surging, hospitalizations predicted to rise, LTCs in outbreak, businesses suffering, contact tracing overwhelmed & the rapid test/PCR/booster Hunger Games under way…the Ontario government seems to be taking a “wait and see approach.”
Isn’t this ludicrous?
— Dr. Amit Arya (@AmitAryaMD) December 23, 2021
With <2 weeks until schools are to reopen we need an Omicron-specific plan to allow kids to return while keeping kids/staff/teachers as safe as possible.
Any delay in kids returning to school will exacerbate staffing shortages as many HCWs will be less available to work.
— Michael Warner (@drmwarner) December 23, 2021
This captures my feelings on recent data entirely.👇🏽
“Cautious optimism” = hopeful but uncertain (for me). https://t.co/qWXoNJZzNw
— Andrew Morris (@ASPphysician) December 23, 2021
Things are quiet in my ER now, but in Quebec things are starting to heat up, and they are a few days ahead of us. Stay frosty people!
- Keep to a small circle of careful, close contacts
- N95 when you go anywhere indoors
- Get boosted ASAP https://t.co/N1WVh1vPHA
— Kashif Pirzada, MD (@KashPrime) December 22, 2021
There’s a lot more cases out there than the 5790 reported today.
So many people with COVID-19 symptoms (+/- positive rapid test)… unable to get an appointment for PCR testing.😵💫
Be safe Ontario!🎄🙏🏻
— Dr. Jennifer Kwan (@jkwan_md) December 23, 2021
The 3rd vaccine dose strategy is moving along quickly, now with 25% of eligible Torontonians receiving one (and rapidly growing).
Would like to see:
1. Similar progress in the rest of ON.
2. Programs to ensure at-risk individuals & populations have access. https://t.co/jwO3CxEjPD
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) December 23, 2021
1) what is the mechanism to report back positive tests?
2) will these positive RATs/no PCRs be officially counted?
3) Will positive RATs be accepted to access #LongCoVID care/disability insurance access etc etc?
Can anyone find out pls in media?#COVID19BC https://t.co/NTylAe9OfX
— Dr. Amy Tan🏮譚玉英🏮Racism=Public Health Crisis (@AmyTanMD) December 23, 2021
Danger! In order to "avoid" dire staffing shortages (which is already happening), nurses who have been exposed to someone who is Covid positive will no longer have to isolate. They will continue to provide care to immunocompromised patients. This is where we are at in Ontario.
— Birgit Umaigba RN, MEd (@birgitomo) December 23, 2021
— Abdu Sharkawy (@SharkawyMD) December 21, 2021
Past our peak of wave 3 and this is an underestimate
And contact tracing is nearly non existent. Call your own contacts yourself. Yes...call when you feel horrible and have a fever cough and everything hurts.
— Dr. Barb King (@DrBarbKing) December 23, 2021
We need better solutions than this.
Real question, how are hospitalizations being impacted?
We need sustainable solutions because this cycle will continue.
Quebec shutting down schools, bars, gyms tonight as COVID-19 cases soar https://t.co/dRJdgYpqRY via @CTVMontreal
— Kwadwo Kyeremanteng (@kwadwo777) December 20, 2021
At a press conference on Wednesday, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, stressed that there is "a finite human health resource capacity" so Canadians need to focus on preventing COVID-19 impacts on the highest risk individuals, including people in long-term care home and health workers.