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Canada: Ontario Risk Assessment for BA.2 to April 5, 2022

BA.2, Canada, Children, Coronavirus, Genome, Hospitalization, Infection, Omicron, Ontario, PCR, Symptoms, Testing

“Close monitoring of epidemiological trends since March 21, 2022 (date of mask mandate removal) suggests a corresponding temporal association with a subsequent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, percent positivity, and hospitalizations.”

Ontario has released a new risk assessment for BA.2.

Key points:

    • BA.2 now more than 50% of sequences in Ontario
    • High viral load may play a role in increased transmissibility of BA.2
    • Due to increased transmissibility of BA.2, the absolute number of severe cases would be expected to increase
    • The number of children with severe disease is likely to increase
    • Masking with high-quality masks at a population level is a public health measure that can be effective at reducing transmission
    • Temporary re-implementation of masking requirements indoors and improved air quality can reduce the risk of in-school transmission
    • Among BA.2 cases from February 20, 2022 to March 19, 2022, the majority occurred in individuals who had completed their vaccination series, i.e. individuals who were post-booster dose (54.8%) or post-series completion (28.5%), followed by unvaccinated individuals (13.3%)
    • Between the week of March 13 to 19, 2022 and the week of March 20 to 26, 2022 the number of reported cases increased 32.1% among healthcare workers.

 

 

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UK ONS: 2.7% of the British population reporting Long Covid symptoms

 

Image by Pascal Weiland from Pixabay