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 126,417 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,094 deaths. 89% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an average of almost 48,000 people daily over the past week with 0.7% testing positive. Currently, Canada is testing more than 140 people for every positive case. An average of just over 400 new cases have been reported daily during the most recent seven days.
As public health authorities and Canadians continue with our collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators including daily case counts, number of cases hospitalised and the percentage of people testing positive in order to inform, adjust and adapt our actions as needed.
Although we continue to have new cases and clusters reported, with recent increased activity in provinces west of Ontario, nationally the average daily cases counts have remained at or below 500 cases since mid-June. This indicates that local public health authorities are continuing to keep COVID-19 spread under manageable control. Nevertheless, a slow increase in daily case counts can quickly get out of hand. If we don’t all maintain recommended public health practices, we could quickly move out of the slow burn safe zone into uncontrolled epidemic growth.
Keeping the slow burn is not something public health can do alone. In addition to physical distancing, frequent handwashing and wearing of non-medical masks, where appropriate, we must all keep our number of contacts low. With COVID-19 circulating across Canada and worldwide, an exposure can occur at any time and in any place. Fewer contacts means that when an exposure does occur, the work of testing and isolating cases and tracing and quarantining contacts to interrupt transmission and keep the overall infection rate low does not become unmanageable for local public health authorities.
Everyone has a part to play; we are all firefighters in keeping COVID-19 at a slow burn. There are tried and true public health practices that will keep us on the slow burn, but they are only assured to work if we all remain vigilant and don’t give in to “COVID fatigue”. You can find additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know how on ways to reduce your risk of getting infected and spreading the virus to those you care about here.”
Public Health Agency of Canada