Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on June 28, 2020
June 28, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“There have been 103,032 cases, including 8,516 deaths. 64% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 2,640,315 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 38,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive. These numbers change quickly and are updated daily in the evenings on Canada.ca/coronavirus.
June is Pride Month – a time for LGBTQ2+ communities and their allies to come together to celebrate our diversity from a place of inclusion, empathy and love.
LGBTQ2+ rights have been hard-won and there is still much to accomplish – particularly with regard to discrimination, racism and transphobia within and beyond LGBTQ2+ communities. Nevertheless, Canada has come a long way over the past 50 years and there are many victories to celebrate, including the amendments to the Canadian Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on “gender identity or expression.”
Though the celebrations this year look a bit different because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am inspired by the innovative ways Canadians are showing their pride loudly and vibrantly.
Because the COVID-19 outbreak is still ongoing, there remains an active risk of spreading the virus. Unfortunately, large-scale in-person celebrations increase this risk. I applaud the decisions of Pride Festival organizers around the country to move quickly to organize virtual festivities. Given the COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated stressers that are known to impact mental health, virtual celebrations are an important opportunity for individuals to connect and promote positive mental health.
For example, Pride Toronto – one of the largest Pride parades in the world – is going virtual, highlighting local collectives, artists, makers, and performers on its online portal.
The theme of Capital Pride this year is “Wherever We Are!” underscoring the need for everyone to stay colourful and proud regardless of where we are physically.
No matter how, when, or where you are taking part in this year’s Pride festivities, it is important for you to do so safely in order to protect yourself and others. Follow the advice and guidance of your local public health authority. Washing your hands frequently and practicing physical distancing is key. In areas where COVID-19 is still active, wear a non-medical mask or face covering to provide an additional layer of protection when you can’t maintain 2-metres physical distancing.
LGBTQ2+ communities face unique health challenges, including stigmatization, exposure to violence, food insecurity and barriers in access to care. In light of Pride, I would like to acknowledge not only the health and social challenges you face, but to commend and celebrate your resilience.”
Public Health Agency of Canada
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