Better days could be ahead if we keep doing our part against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam presented the latest national predictions for case counts Friday morning. 

Tam said the national disease and severity indicators have increased considerably in April. However, she adds the RT, the number of people being infected by each new case, has finally fallen below one.  Dr. Tam said this shows the pandemic in Canada is no longer on a growth pattern. 

However, she said more work needs to be done, as variants now make up more than half of recently reported cases nationwide.  The country’s hospital and intensive admissions doubled over the past week, but the steepest rise in hospitalizations was observed among those 40-59 years. 

Vaccinations in high-risk groups are paying off, as the country is seeing a dramatic decline in incidence rates among adults 80 and over.  As of Friday morning, almost a third of Canadian adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Tam said the longer-range forecast hasn’t changed since last month, but short-range data now predicts a slower increase in cases with over 100 thousand by the beginning of May and a slight rise in deaths with an additional 750 across the country over the next week.

For the first time in months, the federal government is giving two clear scenarios of what it would take to start lifting restrictions by summertime. 

Dr. Tam said just how many people get their first dose will dictate whether it will be safe to lift COVID-19 restrictions this summer.

(Supplied by Public Health Agency of Canada)

(Supplied by Public Health Agency of Canada)

(Supplied by Public Health Agency of Canada)