Statement from Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on 14 August

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

“There have been 120,844 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,006 deaths. 89% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,581,083 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 43,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive and an average of 376 new cases reported daily from across the country.

As public health authorities and Canadians across the country continue with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators such as daily case counts and percentage of people testing positive. Presently, our efforts indicate that we are keeping COVID-19 spread under manageable control but the virus is still circulating in Canada and we must not let down our guard.

Nationally, significantly fewer new cases are being reported daily compared to the more intense weeks of COVID-19 activity in Canada, from late March to June. Case counts peaked in late April and early May at close to 1,800 cases reported daily and then declined steadily reaching a low of 270 cases per day in early July. COVID-19 transmission has increased recently with the opening of economic and social spaces. Over the last several weeks, national daily case counts are averaging between 350 to 500 cases.

Fortunately, the number of new deaths reported daily has remained low following a steep decline from the peak in early May when close to 200 deaths were reported daily. Fewer than 10 deaths have been reported per day on average over the last four weeks. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions also remain low across most jurisdictions with fewer than 400 individuals in hospitals and fewer than 100 individuals in critical care across the country on any given day over the last several weeks.

The average number of days between the date a reported case became ill and when they submitted a sample for laboratory analysis has increased slightly from 2.8 days in June to 3.2 days from July 1 to 20. Although this is a very small increase, this is a trend to monitor closely because the speed of case detection is critical to keeping rates of transmission low. The sooner a case is detected, the sooner the individual can be isolated and their contacts traced and quarantined to prevent further spread.

For more on the current epidemiological situation, see the latest outbreak update.

We know what public health actions and everyday individual level precautions we need to take to maintain control of COVID-19 in Canada. Understanding the risks, following local public health guidance and taking appropriate precautions can help us make informed decisions to keep us, our families, and our communities safer. You can find resources here to help guide you.”

Contacts

Media Relations

Public Health Agency of Canada

613-957-2983

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