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Nationally reported COVID-19 cases seeing upward trend, says Public Health Agency of Canada

Friday, August 20, 2021 @ 2:52 PM | By Cristin Schmitz


COVID-19 cases reported across Canada are continuing their upward trend, with about 90 per cent occurring in unvaccinated people, according to the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Theresa Tam.

The latest information released by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Aug. 20 shows that the national seven-day average of 2,216 new cases reported daily from Aug 13-19 is an increase of 38 per cent over the previous week. The number of active COVID-19 infections now sits at 21,857, according to a statement from the PHAC.

Nationally, the highly contagious delta variant accounts for most of the recently reported cases. It is associated with increased severity, and may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, the PHAC said.

The latest data from the provinces and territories show that an average of 648 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day from Aug 13-19, which is 22 per cent higher than the previous week. Those hospitalized include, on average, 262 people being treated in intensive care units (ICU) — 24 per cent more than the week before. An average of five deaths was reported daily.

Case counts have been rising for several weeks in some of Canada’s most populous jurisdictions, primarily involving unvaccinated people.

As of July 31, almost 90 per cent of COVID cases reported since the start of PHAC’s vaccination campaign last December, were in people who were unvaccinated at the time of their episode. About five per cent of the cases were in those not yet protected by their vaccine inoculation, and about five per cent were in persons only partly vaccinated. Fewer than one per cent of cases (.6 per cent) involved fully vaccinated persons, according to the federal agency.

Cases following vaccination were reported more frequently among females and those aged 60 years and older. PHAC said this might be because of the higher vaccination coverage in Canada among females and those aged 60 years and older, due to the prioritization of older age groups and health-care workers as part of the vaccine rollout.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, there have been 1,462,906 cases of COVID-19 and 26,783 deaths reported in Canada. As of Aug. 19, in Canada 83 per cent of people aged 12 years or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 74 per cent are now fully vaccinated. Age-specific data, as of Aug. 14, show that a range of 72 per cent to 96 per cent of various eligible age groups have received at least one dose and a range of 58 per cent to 92 per cent of various eligible age groups are fully vaccinated.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Cristin Schmitz at Cristin.Schmitz@lexisnexis.ca or at 613-820-2794.