Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on July 15, 2020

Statement

July 15, 2020                         
Ottawa, ON                
Public Health Agency of Canada

OTTAWA -

In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s Deputy Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement on behalf of Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.

“There have been 108,486 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,798 deaths. 67% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 3,302,000 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 40,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive.

COVID-19 spreads quickly in crowded places and closed spaces where there is close-contact between people. Infected individuals can transmit the virus to others, even when they look and feel well. This is why it is so important to change the way people gather this summer. 

We are concerned about the increasing number of reports of individuals contracting COVID-19 at parties, nightclubs and bars, as well as increasing rates of transmission among young Canadians in some jurisdictions across the country. Although severe illness due to COVID-19 is not common among younger age groups, there have been several reports of severe illness among even young and active adults. We are all in this together and have a shared responsibility to help keep COVID-19 transmission low. 

I encourage everyone, especially young adults, to find creative ways to stay socially active in the time of COVID-19. Singing, mingling and dancing in close contact with others, in closed spaces and crowded places, is not the way to party this summer. These are ideal conditions for the spread of COVID-19.

While no public setting can be 100% safe from COVID-19, there are some conditions and controls to watch out for that are helping to lower the risk to Canadians. Before you enter, look for some of the following signs that public health measures are well supported:

  • Information about COVID-19 control measures is readily available
  • People who are ill are discouraged from entering
  • There are opportunities to practise hand hygiene and physical distancing
  • Masks are worn when mandated and when physical distancing is not possible
  • The environment is cleaned regularly
  • There is good open air ventilation

Whenever you go out, keep your close social interactions limited to a small and identifiable number of individuals. This will help public health officials trace contacts should you or someone in that setting become sick.

Some other helpful tips on how to stay safe while going out include:

  • Follow the safety rules put in place by the establishment.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to maintain good decision making capacity.
  • Do not share drinks or utensils.
  • Avoid being in close proximity (less than 2 metres) to others who don’t live with you or aren’t part of your social bubble.
  • Carry with you and wear a non-medical face mask when you cannot maintain physical distancing or are around people who are not part of your social bubble.
  • Try to avoid touching common and frequently touched surfaces and objects including:
    • menus
    • chairs and tables
    • payment machines
    • countertops
    • handrails
  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash or sanitize your hands frequently, especially after touching common and frequently touched surfaces or objects.

Most importantly, stay home if you are sick even if you have only mild symptoms.

These are important considerations to keep top of mind as we continue to live with COVID-19.

Contacts

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983
hc.media.sc@canada.ca

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