September 17, 2020 – Ottawa, ON – 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 139,747 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,193 deaths. 88% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an average of 47,111 people daily over the past week with 1.4% testing positive. An average of 779 new cases have been reported daily during the most recent seven days.
The ongoing increase in new cases being reported daily continues to give cause for concern. With continued circulation of the virus, the situation could change quickly and we could lose the ability to keep COVID-19 cases at manageable levels.
In the spring, Canadians acted decisively and together to help the country slow the spread of the virus. By following public health advice, cases of COVID-19 steadily declined through the late spring and early summer. This undoubtedly saved lives, protected the healthcare system from being overwhelmed, and helped many businesses, facilities and public spaces reopen in COVID-friendly ways over the summer.
However, the ongoing increase in daily case counts over many weeks, including outbreaks linked to private gatherings and events where public health guidelines, such as physical distancing and wearing of masks, were not followed continue to increase the risk for COVID-19 spread getting out of hand.