Ontario's top doctor says even though COVID-19 and flu activity is declining, the province "must remain vigilant" as a more transmissible variant gains ground.
In a statement, Dr. Kieran Moore says parts of Ontario are reporting a rise in the number of cases of the more easily spreadable XBB 1.5 variant of COVID-19.
He says while the new strain has not been associated with more severe illness, infections could climb as it becomes the "main variant in Ontario."
Moore says Ontario is seeing a decline in COVID, respiratory syncytial virus and flu activity throughout the province, offering some relief to hard-hit hospitals.
In recent weeks, Ontario pediatric hospitals have ramped up surgeries after a three-month surge of flu and RSV cases pushed them to redeploy staff to intensive care units and emergency departments.
Moore says flu cases peaked at the end of November and continue to decline.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.
The Canadian Press