Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau both issued statements this morning after a surge in new COVID-19 cases across the country.
With over 40,000 active cases across the province as of Tuesday, Tam says “COVID-19 is already well ahead of us” going into the respiratory season ahead.
Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of approximately 55,000 people per day, and the national test positivity rate has risen to 5.8 per cent.
An average of 51 deaths have been reported per day in the past seven days, and over 1,300 people were in hospital on average per day with about 250 in critical care, across Canada.
“With the continued increase in daily cases, percentage of people testing positive and still rising numbers of people being treated in hospitals across the country, it is clear we have yet to bend the curve on accelerated growth in Canada,” said Tam in her written statement.
“Now, as our activities move indoors during the colder weather – providing even better opportunities for the spread of respiratory viruses – it’s time to get serious.”
Tam wasn’t the only federal authority figure making a statement in light of surging COVID-19 cases.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a speech this morning announcing $61 million of support for record-breaking cases in Manitoba, and to talk about the second wave of the pandemic.
“I would hope that no leader in our country is easing public health vigilance because they feel pressure not to shut down businesses or slow down our economy,” said Trudeau.
“I understand that worry but let me tell you, that’s how we end up with businesses going out of business and the economy damaged even more. Beating COVID is the only way to protect our economy.”
He urged local and provincial governments to reach out to the feds if they need more financial support in the wake of the second wave.
The Prime Minister also warned that while there is good news of a vaccine on the horizon, it will not protect people against the virus right now.
“We’re seeing record spikes this morning across the country so I urge the Premiers and the Mayors to please do the right thing,” he added.
“Act now to protect public health. If you think something is missing in the support we’re offering your citizens, tell us.”
Trudeau went on to ask Canadians to keep adhering to public health guidelines, like washing hands, wearing a mask, keeping a safe distance of two metres from others, and downloading the COVID alert app.
This app is not yet available to British Columbians.
B.C. has consistently recorded several straight days of over 500 new daily COVID-19 cases.
There are currently over 5,000 active cases in the province, and hospitalizations are nearing their peak levels at the height of the first wave of the pandemic back in April.