Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on COVID-19


May 16, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada

In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

"As of Saturday, May 16, there are 75,004 COVID-19 cases, including 5,595 deaths. More than 37,274 or 50 per cent of cases are now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 1,265,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 6 per cent of these testing positive. We are now testing an average of 26,000 to 28,000 people daily. These numbers represent what we know at this moment, and change quickly. I encourage Canadians to consult for the latest information.

I recognize that COVID-19 and the public health measures put in place to control the spread of the virus have presented significant challenges for Canadians. This Victoria Day weekend, many will venture outside to enjoy the warmer weather and amenities that have been closed these many weeks. While this represents the exciting progress we've made as a country, I want to continue to stress the importance of enjoying relaxed measures responsibly.

As provinces and territories reopen, it is crucial that all Canadians keep in mind the importance of going out smart. This means keeping two meters of physical distance between yourself and others, and maintaining frequent handwashing. Depending on COVID activity in your area, local authorities may recommend the use of a non-medical mask or facial covering as an added layer of protection for when it is not possible for you to maintain a two-metre distance from others, for example, when using public transit. Please continue to refer to your local, provincial or territorial health authorities for the latest directives in your region.

COVID-19 is an ongoing global health crisis, and while epidemic growth continues to slow across Canada, there are still areas where the virus is actively spreading. This is a tricky part of the path. We need to continue to do our part to stamp out the last burning embers of COVID-19, while protecting and supporting one another and ensuring we do not lose any of the progress we have made."


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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