Canada just had its worst week ever for new COVID-19 cases
TORONTO -- Canada's seven-day average has reached its highest point of the pandemic, marking a grim milestone amid the country’s third wave.
As of Wednesday, the rolling seven-day average number of new infections in Canada was 8,444.7 cases, setting a new record, according to data tracked by CTVNews.ca.
Canada’s previous highest seven-day average was set back on Jan. 10 with 8,260.6 cases.
The new weekly record comes as several provinces continue to report a spike in daily infections across the country.
Ontario logged 4,156 new infections on Wednesday, in addition to 28 more deaths linked to the virus. The numbers pushed the province's own seven-day rolling average to just above 4,000 daily cases.
The new cases come as Ontario’s hospitals face capacity issues, with 642 patients currently in intensive care units.
Quebec's hospital system is also being strained amid the third wave, with 660 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. The province recorded 1,559 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths Wednesday.
In Alberta, the province with the highest active case rate in Canada, health officials reported 1,412 new infections and eight additional deaths. The province currently has 420 patients in hospitals.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 also reached a new record in British Columbia on Wednesday. B.C. confirmed 1,168 new cases and six deaths, with 397 people currently in hospital.
Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday that new cases are up 33 per cent, hospitalizations grew 29 per cent and the number in critical care went up 24 per cent over the past week.
Over the last seven days, Tam said there were an average of 970 people in intensive care with COVID-19, the highest number ever, exceeding the previous seven-day high of 880 in mid-January.
Canada's new case rate is now well ahead of the United States, at 289 new cases for every million people compared to 212 in the U.S.
However, Tam noted that administering vaccines to the most vulnerable has helped keep deaths down in recent weeks.
Tam said Canada has had an average of 34 deaths per day in the last week, compared to 140 when ICU numbers were similar in January.
"We do believe the vaccine has had an impact, and has been effective in reducing severe outcomes," Tam said.
People the most at risk of dying have been vaccinated in high numbers, with more than 80 per cent of Canadians over 80 now being immunized.
According to data collected by CTVNews.ca, Canada has administered a total of 8,898,865 doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Wednesday evening, with more than 21 per cent of the population having received at least one dose.
With files from The Canadian Press