September 26, 2020 Ottawa, Canadian Public Health Agency
Instead of a personal media update, Dr Teresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
There have been 150,456 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,255 deaths. The proportion of recovered cases is currently 86%. Labs across Canada are continuing to test at a high rate, with nearly 70,000 people testing positive every day last week and 1.4% of those tests positive. As of Friday, September 25, 2020, 1,175 cases were reported per day on average across Canada over the course of seven days. Since some provinces and territories are not reporting new cases over the weekend, the next update to the average daily case count will be offered next Tuesday, once these numbers are compiled.
As the number of daily cases continues to increase and another weekend on us, we urge Canadians to increase personal protection measures and reduce the number of their close contacts as much as possible while taking into account personal and family circumstances. We also need to think about where and how the virus spreads and find safer ways to maintain a balance between maintaining our routine and important activities and keeping the spread of COVID-19 within manageable levels.
Despite real concern about a major re-emergence in areas where the virus is escalating, there is still reason to be optimistic that we can return things to slow burning. In addition to knowing that our collective actions can slow the spread of disease, we know that preventing the spread in certain types of environments can have a significant impact on slowing the growth of an epidemic.
A number of areas with high infection rates reported that some events, such as large private gatherings at home and abroad, resulted in a large number of exposures and injury to many persons. Therefore, even one such event can have far-reaching effects, including taking society out of a slow combustion pathway into an accelerated growth state. But the reason for optimism is that if high transmission events like these can be interrupted early, before they spread into society, then growth can be controlled more easily. The other point of optimism is that these types of diffuse events can be completely prevented if proven, effective precautions are followed. So this is the “learning to live with COVID-19 moment” that we cannot ignore.
With autumn festivities ahead, including the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, it is time to take stock of everything we have learned about how to live with COVID-19 and be grateful for how we have adapted and built our resilience. At the same time, we have to remember that even if we knew or recognized people in a crowd, this does not mean that the risk of contracting COVID-19 has decreased in any way. Even if people attending an event are part of your extended family, as has been the case with some private gathering outbreaks, that doesn’t mean they’re not infected, even if no one is okay.
Keeping ourselves and our loved ones safer will require conscious and consistent efforts as we continue to live with COVID-19. Spend some time this weekend for a family meeting / close contacts, and devise a plan to keep your consistent and reliable bubble safer, while finding new and innovative ways to stay in touch with others richly through other virtual and safe ways. Read my background on risks and precautions to consider and links to COVID-19 information and resources. “
Canadian Public Health Agency