Update on COVID-19 situation in Canada

Update on COVID-19

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is issuing this statement to provide an update on the ongoing response to COVID-19. PHAC continues to work closely with provinces and territories to coordinate Canada’s response. 

On January 27, 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a meeting of its International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency Committee to consider whether the COVID-19 pandemic still constitutes a global public health emergency. The WHO Director General considered the advice offered by the Committee and determined that the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). In addition, the WHO Director General issued this advice as temporary recommendations under the IHR.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Government of Canada’s top priority has been protecting the health and safety of all Canadians. Informed by the latest science and evidence, the Government will continue its work with provinces and territories to implement a long-term, sustainable approach to the ongoing management of COVID-19.

The Government of Canada acknowledges the WHO Director General’s determination that COVID-19 remains a PHEIC, as the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to evolve and is still circulating widely across Canada and in many other countries worldwide. The Government of Canada will continue to work with the WHO, international partners and with Canadian provinces and territories to monitor the COVID-19 situation and to determine the best course of action to limit the spread of the virus and mitigate health and societal impacts. PHAC will continue to provide regular public updates as new information becomes available.

As part of ongoing monitoring, the Government of Canada continues to contribute to and assess the global epidemiology of COVID-19, including working with international partners to enhance viral genomic sequencing capacity. There is a robust laboratory monitoring program in place across the provinces and territories to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants in Canada, including Omicron lineage variants of concern, such as the XBB.1.5 variant.

As COVID-19 activity continues and hospitalizations remain elevated in Canada, layers of prevention, including keeping up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and personal protective practises remain our best approach to reduce the risk of developing severe illness and limit the burden on the health system.

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