As rollout of the updated COVID-19 vaccine gets under way in many parts of the country, the Public Health Agency of Canada is reporting a slight increase in the number of hospital admissions linked to COVID infections.
On Thursday, PHAC reported that 3,797 COVID-19 patients were in hospital beds across the country as of Oct. 10, up from 3,610 a week earlier. Of those, the number of patients in ICU beds as of Oct. 10 was 146, up from 117 a week earlier. And 68 patients were on ventilators as of Oct. 10, compared to 66 the week before.
According to PHAC’s weekly respiratory virus report, published on Friday, there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases since early July. Aside from COVID, PHAC reports that enterovirus/rhinovirus activity is highest, but remains lower than what is normally expected for this time of year, with 1,205 detections and a 17.6 per cent positivity rate. (This doesn’t represent all virus activity across Canada, as respiratory detections are taken from a select number of labs across the country to give an overall sense of what is happening on the ground.)
This week, many provinces and municipalities began opening appointments for updated COVID-19 vaccines targeting the XBB.1.5 strain, which is related to the Omicron subvariant. While newer subvariants have since emerged and become dominant, experts say, and research shows, the updated vaccine should provide strong protection against the COVID viruses in circulation this season.