Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on February 25, 2022


February 25, 2022 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. PocketWell, a free companion app to the WTC online portal, provides another way to help Canadians access online mental health and substance use resources, and measure and track aspects of their mental well-being.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to monitor COVID-19 epidemiological indicators to quickly detect, understand and communicate emerging issues of concern. The following is a brief summary with the latest national numbers and trends.

With a shift to more targeted testing, a range of other indicators, from laboratory test positivity to daily numbers of people in hospitals and critical care continue to be important for monitoring trends.

Epidemiological indicators of COVID-19 disease activity have continued to improve nationally and in most jurisdictions; however, some jurisdictions are reporting weekly increases in cases counts and others could see additional bumps in the weeks ahead. During the latest 7 day period (Feb 18-24, 2022), an average of 5,902 new cases were reported daily across Canada, a 24% decrease compared to the week prior. Likewise, laboratory test positivity during the latest 7 day period (Feb 16-22, 2022) decreased to 11%, indicating declining but still widespread activity across the country.

Severe illness trends are similarly continuing to decline, with weekly reductions reported in most jurisdictions. The latest provincial and territorial data show that an average of 6,099 people with COVID-19 were being treated in hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Feb 18-24, 2022), which is 16% lower than last week. This includes, on average, 738 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU) daily, which is a 16% decrease compared to the prior week, and an average of 60 deaths were reported daily (Feb 18-24, 2022). Keeping infection rates down remains key to further reducing severe illness trends and protecting vulnerable populations over the coming weeks.

Immunization for all those who are eligible, but are yet to receive their primary series, remains a top priority. As of February 24, 2022, provinces and territories have administered over 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The latest provincial and territorial data indicate that over 80% of the total population are now fully vaccinated. Age-specific vaccine coverage data, as of February 20, 2022, show that over 88% of people 12 years or older have at least one dose and over 84% are fully vaccinated, while among children aged 5-11 years of age, 57% have at least one dose.

Health authorities continue to strongly recommend up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible people, including for those who have had or may have had a COVID-19 infection. All told, over 5.5 million eligible Canadians need one or more doses to complete their primary series and many others are eligible to get a booster dose to help improve protection that may have decreased since their second dose and to provide even better protection against severe illness from Omicron. In particular, getting a booster dose if you are eligible and especially for those 50 years of age or older is very important for achieving better, longer-lasting protection against COVID-19. The evidence supporting the value of booster doses continues to get stronger. Recent studies indicate that an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster dose enhances the overall immune response, which can provide longer lasting protection and possibly better effectiveness against variants. As of February 24, over 17 million third doses have been administered to date. National data as of February 20, 2022 indicate that over 82% of seniors aged 70 years or older and 59%-73% of 50-69 year olds have received an additional dose.

As we move into a lower transmission phase and beyond, our best advantage going forward will be maintaining a state of readiness. At the individual level, readiness can be best achieved by keeping COVID-19 vaccinations up-to-date, including getting a booster dose when eligible and continuing to follow public health advice tailored to local epidemiology and circumstances to guide your individual and family risk assessment and decisions on use of personal protective practices. In particular, properly wearing a well-fitted and well-constructed face mask as appropriate, avoiding crowding, and getting the best ventilation possible in indoor spaces, are layers of protection that can reduce your risk in all settings. Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada at this time; if you must travel, be aware of requirements for visiting other countries and for returning to Canada.

We can also stay healthier by getting up-to-date with other recommended vaccines and routine vaccines for children and adults. For additional information regarding vaccination in your area, reach out to your local public health authorities, healthcare provider, or other trusted and credible sources, such as and, which includes information to help Canadians understand the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19.

Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities. Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others, including information on COVID-19 vaccination.


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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