Skip to main content

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, on Dec. 22, 2020.Justin Tang/The Canadian Press

Canada’s top doctor says even though the average daily COVID-19 case count across the country is down 30 per cent compared to last week, it’s not an accurate reflection of the state of the pandemic.

Dr. Theresa Tam says targeted testing policies and reduced testing continue to underestimate the number of true infections, noting severe illness trends are still rising in most jurisdictions and hospitalization rates are increasing across all age groups.

Quebec announced it will begin tracking COVID-19 rapid test results through an online portal, although experts question its usefulness and the accuracy of such data.

Health Minister Christian Dube says the government-run platform will help Quebec better track COVID-19 transmission in the community, given that publicly run PCR testing is reserved for people in high-risk groups.

COVID-19 cases fuelled by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant continue to strain hospitals, with New Brunswick’s health minister saying most emergency room patients could be treated outside hospitals.

Alberta recorded its second-highest rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations with 1,418, one day after an overall record of 1,443.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.