(Dr. Theresa Tam / Government of Canada)

In an update on the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam stated that the epidemic in the country is slowing down, with the new case doubling rate much slower than it has been in the past.

Tam says that the doubling time for new cases is now up to about 20 days, as opposed to last week, when it was 16 days.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the number of new cases was doubling around every three days.

Despite case rates slowing down, she says the number of deaths may continue to increase, mostly due to outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Additionally, Tam reports that over 970,000 people across the country have been tested for COVID-19 to date, with about 6 per cent of them testing positive.

Last week, Canada Health Officials reported that 740,000 COVID-19 tests had been conducted in Canada, with seven per cent of these people testing positive for the virus.

Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos has also said that 7.5 million Canadians have received at least one Canada Emergency Response Benefit payment since the program’s inception.

Duclos also states that 545,000 businesses have received an emergency loan through the Canada Emergency Business Account.

110,000 businesses have submitted requests for the wage subsidy, and most wage subsidy applications have been processed – Canadians should start receiving these benefits next week.

See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island

The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.

Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.

The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19  line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.

As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 3,774,654.

Over 261,100 people have died from the illness and 1,273,664 have made a full recovery.

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