Language selection

COVID-19 epidemiology update : Testing and variants Download page in .pdf format

Summary of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, cases following vaccination, testing and variants of concern across Canada and over time. Older versions of this report are available on the archived reports page .

Testing and variants

This page was last updated on .

Update schedule : We update all sections of this page every Friday.

Key COVID-19 testing updates (Last data update )


Testing in Canada

Figure 1. of of COVID-19, by province/territory (Last data update )

Hover over or tap regions to see cases , and deaths and tests performed in Canada over time. Click the play button to animate the map. Map data is available in map data .csv and map data .json formats and a data dictionary is available data dictionary .csv format.

The count of total cases in Canada was 1,471 .


Figure 1: Text description
Areas in Canada with cases of COVID-19
Location Total tests performed Moving average daily tests performed (latest week) Moving average daily percent positivity (latest week)
Count Count Rate * Percent
  1. * Rate per 100,000 population
  2. Out of the total number of people tested, 76 were repatriated travellers, of which 13 were cases.
Health regions in Canada with cases of COVID-19
Province Health Region Total cases Cases last 14 days Total deaths Deaths last 14 days
Count Rate * Count Rate * Count Rate * Count Rate *

No data is available for this day, and so the most recently available data is displayed.

Rate per 1,000,000 population

* Rate per 100,000 population

Note: Out of the total number of people tested, 76 were repatriated travellers, of which 13 were cases.

COVID-19 variants in Canada

All viruses, including COVID-19, change over time. These changes are called mutations, and result in variants of the virus. Not all mutations are of concern. Most do not cause more severe illness. However, some mutations result in variants of concern or variants of interest.

A variant of concern has mutations that are significant to public health. Before a variant of interest is considered one of concern, scientists and public health professionals must determine if the mutations result in an actual change in the behaviour of the virus. For example, it might:

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) works with provincial and territorial partners and the Canadian COVID-19 Genomics Network (CanCOGeN) to sequence a percentage of all positive COVID-19 test results. Sequencing reveals the genetic code of the virus, which tells us which variant is involved in a specific case of COVID-19. We report the proportion of COVID-19 variants in Canada every week.

We collect evidence to determine if new variants meet the definition for a variant of concern or a variant of interest . Many variants are being tracked across Canada and around the world.

Currently, Omicron and its sub-lineages are the primary variants of COVID-19 circulating in Canada. Evidence demonstrates that Omicron is more transmissible than previous variants of concern.

Previous variants of concern in Canada are as follows:

Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccination continues to be one of the most effective ways to protect against serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Canada now has access to two updated bivalent vaccines that are expected to provide better protection against the Omicron variant of concern.

Figure 2. Weekly variant breakdown Updated: December 31, 2021 , 4 pm EDT download weekly variant breakdown data in .csv format

The graphic shows the percentage mix of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada through whole genome sequencing, by week of sample collection. You can see the numbers for each date by hovering over, tabbing to, or long-pressing any of the bars. To see a specific variant or variant grouping, click or press return. Repeat to restore the complete graph. Sublineages or offshoots for some variants can be revealed or hidden by clicking on the name of the variant in the legend.

This information is based on whole genome sequencing from surveillance testing in all provinces and territories. In addition to sequencing done by the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg, data is included from provincial and territorial laboratories .

Sequencing takes from 1 to 3 weeks to complete, so the proportions for recent weeks may change as more data are added. Surveillance in each province or territory is organized and prioritized according to local needs and may change from time to time. Because of differences in local sampling and reporting, the percentages illustrate trends rather than precise measurements.

Weekly variant breakdown

Percentage of COVID-19 cases identified through whole genome sequencing, presented by variant and by week of sample collection.

Figure 2: Text description
Percentage of COVID-19 cases identified through whole genome sequencing, presented by variant and by week of sample collection.
Variant Grouping

Note : The shaded columns on the right represent a period of accumulating data.

Contributing laboratories:

  • National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) - supplemental sequencing for all provinces and territories

National Microbiology Laboratory (NML) - supplimental sequencing for all provinces and territories

Additional COVID-19 data resources

Date modified: