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 178,117 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,585 deaths. Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of over 71,000 people daily, with 2.5% testing positive. As some provinces and territories do not provide updates over the weekend, the next update for the average daily counts of cases, current hospitalizations and deaths will be provided on Wednesday, once these numbers have been compiled.
As noted in the epidemiology and modelling update yesterday, we are seeing shifting patterns in the spread of COVID-19 in Canada over time. For example, while the highest case numbers have been in the 20 to 39 age group over the summer, we are now seeing increasing case numbers in older age groups, where risk of more severe outcomes is higher.
A growing number of outbreaks have also been reported in long-term care and retirement residences in recent weeks. While these outbreaks involve a smaller number of cases than in April and May, we know that spread in these facilities often leads to deaths. We must do everything possible to prevent introduction and further spread of the virus in these settings.
We all have a shared responsibility to help protect those at highest risk. When spread of COVID-19 is kept to low levels in the community this decreases the risk of exposure for older Canadians in our communities and the likelihood that the virus will enter and take hold in care homes.
Your actions can save lives. There are actions you can take to protect yourself and others. Keep your in-person contacts low. Maintain physical distancing. Wash your hands frequently. Wear a mask where distancing is difficult. Stay home and self-isolate if you have symptoms, even mild ones.
Always follow the recommendations set out by your provincial/territorial/local public health authorities to keep you and those you care about safer, while reducing the spread of COVID-19 in Canada.”