OTTAWA – Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“As of Saturday, June 6, there are now 95,057 confirmed cases including 7,773 deaths and 53,614 or 56% have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 1,868,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 5% of these testing positive overall. Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 33,000 people daily. These numbers change quickly and are updated regularly on Canada.ca/coronavirus.
This past week, Statistics Canada released findings from their “Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 2: Monitoring the Effect of COVID-19” study, which sets out to understand the impact of the global pandemic on Canadians. These efforts are key to the Government of Canada’s evidence-based approach to COVID-19.
I was pleased to see that 92% of participants confirmed they have been practising physical distancing, and 95% have reported washing their hands more regularly. These measures have been part of our core advice to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While this is encouraging, I am concerned about Canadians’ mental health. Almost one in five participants reported symptoms consistent with moderate or severe anxiety. The results also show more Canadians have increased their consumption of alcohol and junk food or sweets since the beginning of the pandemic.
Mental health is critical to our overall health, and as a community, we must learn to prioritize it. While social interactions and activities might look different right now, Canadians should be actively looking for safe ways to socialize, engage in physical activity and make healthy choices. This can include virtual calls with friends and family, at-home or outdoor workouts, healthy food choices and if needed, seeking virtual mental health resources.
Please take advantage of mental health resources available to you, either through your place of employment or through your provincial or territorial governments. You can also visit Health Canada’s website for more information and resources at Canada.ca/coronavirus or reach out for support using the Wellness Together Canada portal. The app is free and available online and through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Please take care of yourselves and your families, and please stay safe.”