Behind the numbers: 3 COVID-19 takeaways from 2022

In 2022, Omicron variants and subvariants reigned, guidelines largely eased into suggestions, and the Ottawa-Gatineau area noticed a shift within the COVID-19 pandemic.

One native well being chief mentioned in an interview this month there was a turning level in the course of spring that evened out the earlier spikes and valleys of the varied pandemic waves.

At that time, a couple of respectable months in autumn 2021 — pushed by good uptake of vaccines — had been changed by a couple of months of the more-infectious Omicron.

“Going into type of April and Could, we truly noticed what I name ‘the wall of immunity’ being developed by what’s known as hybrid immunity,” mentioned Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical oficer of well being for the Japanese Ontario Well being Unit.

“You had thousands and thousands of people that bought contaminated regardless of being vaccinated — however not hospitalized, happily — and on the similar time, a complete slew of the inhabitants bought protected by vaccines.”

CBC honed in on three COVID-19 tendencies from the previous 12 months that caught out in weekly updates from public well being items.

This piece doesn’t account for the autumn rise of the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and the flu, which have brought about extra issues late in 2022, similar to immense strain on youngsters’s hospitals.

Area’s deadliest 12 months

There have been gaps in that wall of immunity, although. Individuals who cannot mount as robust of a defence account for many of the deaths domestically after contracting COVID.

This previous 12 months has included practically half of the greater than 2,000 reported COVID-19 deaths within the seven native well being authorities.

Six of these seven reported extra of those deaths this 12 months than in both 2020 or 2021. 5 of them reported greater than in 2020 and 2021 mixed.

The Renfrew County and District Well being Unit has seen about 85 per cent of its COVID deaths in 2022. Two others sit round 80 per cent: Hastings Prince Edward Public Well being within the Belleville space and Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Well being.

Ottawa is the one well being unit within the area that hasn’t reported extra COVID deaths in 2022, but it surely’s shut. 

CBC Information spoke to a number of physicians for a narrative final month about who’s dying with COVID-19 in late 2022.

“It is older people, it is these with immune-compromised states on chemotherapy with superior most cancers, frail comorbidities, which are ending up getting sick with COVID-related sickness,” mentioned Dr. Bram Rochwerg, a essential care doctor in Hamilton, Ont.

“It is extraordinarily uncommon to see any person that does not have these comorbidities that results in the ICU sick with COVID.”

Elevating the ground

Coronavirus wastewater readings and COVID hospitalizations every present the worst spikes of the pandemic got here in 2022, and there was fewer lulls between waves. This 12 months’s longest lull usually occurred in Could and June, however worsened in July. 

Ottawa additionally didn’t go greater than 100 days in 2022 with fewer than 20 lively, native COVID hospital sufferers. Ottawa reached 175 days in 2021, and 125 in 2020 — if you happen to begin the depend when town first reached 20 hospital sufferers with COVID.

A line graph of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the winter of 2020.
The reprieve from COVID-19 hospitalizations was shorter this summer time in Ottawa in comparison with in previous summers (and autumns). Take a look at the charts round every July. (Ottawa Public Well being)

There is a comparable story in Ottawa’s wastewater measurements.

The weekly common stage in 2021 was within the double digits — which is pretty low — for nearly 150 days. The extent by no means bought that low in 2022.

A bar and line graph of coronavirus wastewater levels since June 2020.
Ottawa’s weekly coronavirus common did not get as low in 2022 because the earlier two years. It practically dropped to double digits in March. (613covid.ca)

“Between waves [earlier in the year] we type of went down, however what we’re seeing now could be … we’re not going as little as we wish to be or was once, we’re type of hovering,” Roumeliotis mentioned, in a weekly video replace late final month, referring to common wastewater tendencies throughout Ontario.

“That is what we’ll be seeing. Progressively that can get decrease and decrease as we vaccinate … We’re nonetheless in a pandemic however we’re in a a lot better scenario in the case of COVID-19.”

Vaccine consistency

This 12 months noticed up to date booster doses which are higher tailor-made for present coronavirus variants and the approval of vaccines for youngsters as younger as six months outdated.

Native demand for all COVID vaccines additionally evened out.

When you put aside January’s rush for boosters over the past interval of centralized college, restaurant and fitness center closures, OPH usually gave out between 4,000 and 20,000 doses every week from February onward.

In 2021, as many as 132,700 doses had been administered in early July, which was when second dose eligibility expanded.

There is a comparable dynamic within the Kingston and Belleville areas, and in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark counties.

A bar graph of daily COVID-19 vaccine doses given in a region.
After the January booster growth, the Kingston space noticed its most COVID-19 vaccines given within the first weeks of autumn, when youngsters had been again at school. (KFL&A Public Well being)

In Ottawa, 2022 noticed greater than 700,000 COVID vaccine doses given this 12 months in comparison with about two million the 12 months earlier.

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