August 15, 2020 – Statement from Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Tam

COVID-19 Canada

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 121,652 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,020 deaths. 89% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,685,663 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 43,000 people were tested daily, with 0.9% testing positive.

As public health authorities and all Canadians continue with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators such as daily case counts and percentage of people testing positive. Presently, our efforts indicate that we are keeping COVID-19 spread under manageable control but the virus is still circulating in Canada and we must not let down our guard.

Over the last several weeks, national daily case counts have ranged between 350 to 500 cases, with over 380 cases being reported daily during the most recent 7 days. This represents an increase in transmission relative to late June and early July when daily case counts reached their lowest since the start of the epidemic in Canada at approximately 300 cases daily. Several provinces have observed this upward trend over the summer months as we have reopened more social and economic spaces, including some jurisdictions with previously very low transmission rates. Fortunately, the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths among cases of COVID-19 have remained low. For more on the current situation, see the latest outbreak update.

As we continue to lift restrictive public health measures to minimize other health, social and economic consequences, we expect to see some resurgence in cases, similar to what we have observed in recent weeks. With COVID-19 actively circulating in Canada and around the world, new cases or outbreaks can spark up anywhere. Public health authorities across the country are working hard to respond rapidly to each new spark in order to prevent further spread and limit epidemic growth to a ‘slow burn’ scenario.

We all have a role to play to limit the size and impact of these flare ups and to prevent them from sparking an outbreak or setting off a chain of transmission in a population or setting including individuals at high-risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes. We know what public health actions and everyday individual level precautions we need to take. Understanding the risks, following local public health guidance and taking appropriate precautions will help us make informed decisions to keep us, our families, and our communities safer. You can find resources here to help guide you.”

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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