Monday, July 22, 2024

Canada’s top doctor says people need to cut contacts by 25% to control COVID-19


It could be time to re-evaluate your social bubble, says Canada’s top doctor. 

Dr. Theresa Tam is asking Canadians to reduce the number of contacts they currently have, by a whole quarter.

In a media briefing on Friday, October 30, Tam urged Canadians to cut down their social contacts by twenty-five percent. If Canadians are unable to do so, the pandemic is forecasted to re-surge, according to new federal modelling.

The latest dynamic modelling suggests that, if we are to maintain current levels of in-person socialization, Canada could see up to 8,000 cases per day by December.

(Dynamic modelling/Public Health Agency of Canada)

Tam was joined at the press conference by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo and federal ministers Marc Miller and Ahmed Hussen.

She asked Canadians to keep their interactions to a minimum, only interacting with “consistent [and] trusted contacts.”

“Right now, our most powerful tool remains social distancing… In communities where cases are rising quickly, we need to keep our contacts as limited as possible. This is what it will take to slow the spread of the virus,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the conference.

“To bend the epidemic curve and reduce transmission to lower levels … we must really reduce our number of contacts as much as possible,” Tam added.

The current provincial orders from Dr. Bonnie Henry direct British Columbians to keep it to their “safe six,” referring to a small group of friends and extended family that you can socialize with who are not part of your own household. Each member of a household can have their own “safe six.”

Henry has noted that in some cases a full household plus six people is too many.

“What comes next for us this fall and winter is for every one of us to determine through our decisions and our actions,” Tam told the nation on Friday.

“Letting down our guard and letting this virus win is not an option.”

Over the weekend, B.C. reported a new record-high of 1,120 cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the total to 15,501 and causing active cases to surge to 2,945. 

Abby Neufeld
Abby Neufeld
Freelance writer for Victoria Buzz.

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