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


May 27, 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 Wednesday, May 27, there are now 86,939 cases, including 6,671 deaths and 45,766 or 53% have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 1,528,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 5% of these testing positive overall. Over the past week, we have been testing an average of 22,300 people daily. 

I would like to remind people to exercise caution when dealing with extreme heat this summer. It can affect how the body regulates its core temperature and can result in heat illnesses.

A heatwave is challenging, but one in the middle of an infectious disease outbreak is even more complex. Cooling off in an indoor space—where there could be limited air exchange or recycled air and many people—is concerning from a transmission standpoint. It is important at all times to follow the tried and true public health measures like maintaining a two metre distance, covering your cough and washing your hands frequently.

During high heat and humidity, wearing a mask can make breathing difficult. Therefore, when you are outdoors, maintaining physical distancing is best. Reserve the mask for use indoors for short periods of time when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Extreme heat can worsen pre-existing conditions and breathing difficulties.

While extreme heat can put everyone at risk from heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for older adults, infants and young children, people with chronic illnesses, people who work in the heat, people who are homeless and low-income households.

I am particularly concerned about seniors who have already faced devastating outcomes from COVID-19. I urge Canadians to check in with senior members of their family or community to make sure they are ok.

Enjoy the hot weather, but remember to drink lots of water and avoid strenuous activities. Wherever you live, stay informed about your local weather forecasts and find out what your municipality is doing to beat the heat. Do not forget to maintain a two metre physical distance while seeking heat relief or helping others to stay cool and safe.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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