(Dr. Theresa Tam/Health Canada and PHAC)

The delta-driven fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be levelling off nationally, according to officials from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

According to chief public health officer of Canada, Theresa Tam, both public health measures and vaccinations nationally are contributing to the levelling off.

With at least 80% of the eligible population in Canada with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Tam said this bodes well for the upcoming respiratory season and Thanksgiving weekend.

With the levelling off, the number of new cases across the country could decline in the coming weeks.

Last year, Thanksgiving weekend was said to have prompted the second wave of COVID-19.

“With the level of vaccine coverage that we have achieved in Canada to date, we are much better protected going into the respiratory infection season, and today’s modelling update shows that by maintaining basic and less restrictive measures such as masking and limiting close contact, we could reduce the impact of COVID-19 this winter,” Tam said.

While the fourth wave has levelled out, Canadian health officials are still concerned about overwhelmed health care systems in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“Over the past month, lessons have been hard learned where measures were relaxed too much or too soon—and especially where vaccination coverage remains low—providing further cautionary tales on the relentless behaviour and severe impacts of this virus,” said Tam.

As the Thanksgiving weekend is upon us Tam said that despite it being an awkward conversation, asking whether guests are vaccinated could help in preventing COVID-19 transmission.

Tam also iterated that masking should remain in place to avoid a winter surge of cases.

New data from the BCCDC regarding the last week of September reported that unvaccinated people are now 53 times more likely to die from COVID-19—17 times more than the week prior.

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