Study: Omicron risk of hospitalization, death is 54% lower than Delta

By Michael Ranger

A new study from Public Health Ontario suggests the Omicron COVID-19 variant causes less severe illness.

The study compared Omicron cases against Delta cases and found the risk of hospitalization or death was 54 per cent lower with Omicron.

It also notes the total number of hospitalizations in the province will still likely see a significant rise due to the higher transmissibility and vast spread of the new variant.

The study looked at 6,312 Omicron cases and 8,875 Delta cases with an onset between Nov. 22 and Dec. 17 of this year. There were 21 hospitalizations and zero deaths recorded from the Omicron cases and 116 hospitalizations and seven deaths recorded from Delta.

Omicron also showed a lower risk of hospitalization among those 60 years of age or older.

The results showed that the risk of hospitalization and death with Omicron was actually 68 per cent lower than Delta, but the results were adjusted for vaccination status and region.

public health ontario data

Ontario reported 10,436 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, surpassing a previous record of 10,412 daily infections on Christmas Day and 9,826 infections on Boxing Day. There were 8,825 cases of the virus on Tuesday.

Health experts have warned that the total number of COVID-19 cases is likely to be higher as several hospitals and testing centres have reached their testing capacity.

The seven-day rolling average of new cases now sits at 9,183, up from 1,514 two weeks ago.

The province confirmed 726 hospitalizations due to COVID-19, up from 491 hospital patients on Tuesday.

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