July 29, 2020 – Statement from Chief Medical Officer of Health


OTTAWA – In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement:

“There have been 114,994 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,912 deaths. 87% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 3,899,000 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 40,665 people were tested daily, with about 1% testing positive and an average of 471 cases being reported daily from across the country.

Physical distancing—practiced by maintaining a two-meter distance from people outside of your bubble —is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, I recognize that physical distancing is not without challenges, both socially as well as practically, especially at certain times and in certain settings.

While there are ways we can stay socially connected, including by expanding and enriching our virtual connections, we also need to remember that physical distancing is not enough protection on its own when we are in closed spaces, crowded spaces or in close contact with people outside of our social bubble. In these situations, whether indoors or outdoors, we need an additional layer of protection by wearing a non-medical mask or face covering.

All these layers of protection and physical distancing can leave us all feeling a bit of what’s been described as “COVID-fatigue”. For many, there are emotional and psychological implications of staying physically apart from others that can lead to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. To address this, remember that you can practice physical distancing, but still be social. I urge everyone to continue reaching out by various means, including virtually and especially support those living alone or away from family members or loved ones. This is an opportunity for younger Canadians and others who are familiar with social media and virtual platforms to reach out and help others in your family or community who may not be as tech savvy.

If you or someone you care about are experiencing social, mental or emotional challenges associated with the difficulties and pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, help is available. Please visit the Wellness Together Portal to connect to mental health and substance use support, resources, and counseling with a mental health professional.

Physical distancing should not mean emotional distancing. During this pandemic, we should all try our very best to stay connected – even while staying physically apart.

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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