October 14, 2020 – Chief Medical Officer of Health COVID-19 Update

Dr. Theresa Tam

OTTAWA – COVID-19 Update – 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 186,881 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,654 deaths. Nationally, there are 19,741 active cases across the country. Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of over 77,000 people daily, with 2.4% testing positive. Yesterday a total of 4,042 cases were reported nationally; 1,996 of these cases were backlogged cases from the long weekend and 2,046 were newly identified yesterday. This means the average daily case count remains elevated with 2,223 cases being reported during the most recent 7 days.

Fall is upon us, and so is the start of flu season. Influenza, or the flu, is a serious and highly contagious respiratory infection. This year it is more important than ever to get your flu shot.

The flu shot provides protection against infection with influenza A and B viruses that are expected to circulate in the Canadian population this fall and winter while COVID-19 activity continues. Although the flu shot doesn’t provide protection against infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, it will help reduce the risk of you getting the flu before, during or after a possible COVID-19 infection. Having both illnesses close together in time, or at the same time, could put you at higher risk for severe illness.

Getting the flu shot protects you and those around you, providing you protection from infection and serious illness, and reducing the likelihood of you spreading the illness to others. By keeping you and others healthier, the flu shot is also an important prevention measure to help reduce the burden on Canada’s health care system during this unprecedented time.

Please plan to get your flu shot as soon as it becomes available in your area. It can take up to two weeks for your body to build immunity against the flu once you get the flu shot. You can get a flu shot at a flu clinic near you, a pharmacy that offers the flu shot, or by contacting your local public health unit to find other available options in your area.

Practising physical distancing, ensuring proper hand-washing, wearing a non-medical mask or face covering and following public health guidelines are also important for helping to prevent infection and spread of both flu and COVID-19.

There are even more ways you can help in the public health effort. You can sign up to become a FluWatcher to help monitor the spread of both flu and COVID-19 in Canada. You can also download the COVID Alert app to break the cycle of infection and help limit the spread of COVID-19.”

SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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