Statement from Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on 24 September

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 146,663 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,234 deaths. 87% of people have now recovered. Over the past week, there has been a marked increase in laboratory testing, with an average of almost 70,000 people tested daily across Canada and 1.4% of these testing positive.

Since our last modelling update in mid-August, the national daily case count has been increasing at an accelerated rate. Over the past seven days, an average of 1,123 cases were reported daily, compared to 380 cases reported daily in mid-August.

Canada is at a crossroads with the COVID-19 epidemic trajectory. At the current rate of growth, our epidemiological analysis and modelling studies indicate that unless public health and individual protective measures are strengthened and we work together to slow the spread of the virus, the situation is on track for a big resurgence in a number of provinces.

Throughout the summer, infection rates have been highest among young adults aged 20-39 years. While COVID-19 tends to be less severe among young people, ongoing circulation of the virus in younger, more mobile and socially connected adults builds a reservoir for the virus. This not only increases the risk for spread to individuals and populations at higher risk for severe outcomes, but it threatens our ability to keep COVID-19 at manageable levels. As well, it is important to know that young adults are not immune to the direct impacts of COVID-19, as serious or prolonged illness can occur at any age.

Yesterday I ended my remarks with a message to young adults and today I want to reiterate that now more than ever, we need your cooperation, your creativity and your drive to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. In fact, we can’t get back on the slow burn track without your help. This is your generation, this is your time, let’s work together to get this done.

To make this work, we all need to commit to strictly adhering to individual protective measures including physical distancing, hand hygiene, non-medical masks as recommended; limiting in-person contacts as much as possible to a small, consistent and trusted contacts bubble; and following the golden rule of staying home and isolating from others if experiencing any symptoms, even if mild.

The challenge we all face is to stay the course no matter how weary we may feel. We have done this before and we know that working together we can do it again. Let’s get back on the slow burn track together. Find more COVID-19 information and resources here.”

Contacts

Media Relations

Public Health Agency of Canada

613-957-2983

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