Coronavirus: Omicron peaks in some provinces

The Omicron-driven fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be peaking in some provinces, while others say the worst is likely to come.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority says it is preparing for a wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations and absenteeism among workers until mid-February, while Alberta says hospitalization rates are rising to levels not seen since mid-October.

The growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on Prince Edward Island has led the province to reduce assembly sizes and close gyms and dining rooms in restaurants until at least the end of the month.

Even as they both set new records for hospital admissions, officials in Ontario and Quebec say the daily rate appears to be declining slightly, though they warn that the health care system remains under tremendous pressure.

There are 3,417 COVID patients in hospitals in Quebec, while Ontario has 4,183, including 580 in intensive care.

BC registered 1,975 cases of COVID-19 with 854 people in the hospital when the province’s chief physician described her decision to allow the reopening of gyms and other fitness facilities on Thursday as a “cautious step” in lifting COVID-19 restrictions.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said a vaccination certificate will still be required to use gyms, and the facilities must operate below capacity limits and provide seven square feet for each person exercising.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 19, 2022.

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