OTTAWA – 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 131,124 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,141 deaths. 88.4% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an average of almost 46,000 people daily over the past week with 0.9% testing positive.
Local public health authorities across Canada are continuing to work hard to investigate cases and clusters of COVID-19. These core public health activities are essential to interrupt transmission chains, keep the infection rate low and keep the epidemic on the controlled, slow burn track.
A key concern this past week has been the continuing increase in daily case counts. Although we are well below the almost 1,800 cases reported daily at the peak of the initial wave in early May, we have been seeing an increasing trend in this disease activity indicator. With 631 new cases reported across Canada yesterday, the most recent seven-day moving average now has us at 545 cases being reported daily. This exceeds the maximum number of daily cases reported during increased activity in mid-July.
Although public health authorities continue to indicate that COVID-19 spread is still under manageable control, this is a situation that can change quickly. Increasing daily case counts tell us that COVID-19 is continuing to spread. This is a remainder that we all need to maintain public health measures, as this spread can quickly get out of control.
Each of our actions to reduce spread, reduces the overall risk of COVID-19 spread going off the slow burn track. Spread among any age group is a risk to everyone, including for reaching those at high risk of severe outcomes and for uncontrolled epidemic growth that would necessitate new restrictions.
Over the long weekend, I urge all Canadians to keep up with the proven effective public health practices that have worked to bring the rate of COVID-19 infection down to a manageable level. Keeping to your close contacts bubble is safest but when going to public spaces make sure you assess your personal risks and check that there are controls in place to reduce spread of the virus.
It is also important to remember that just because you may know the people attending an event outside of your household/contacts bubble, it doesn’t not mean the COVID-19 risk is in any way reduced. Don’t let your guard down. Keep following good public health practices. You can find additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know how, including ways to keep you, your family and our communities safer here.”
Public Health Agency of Canada