Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on July 18, 2020


July 18, 2020 - Ottawa, ON -  Public Health Agency of Canada

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 109,669 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,839 deaths. 88% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 3,438,000 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 40,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive.

As more Canadians go out and interact with others, we expect to see new COVID-19 cases. Without a vaccine or effective treatment, Canada’s daily new case count will not drop to zero in the foreseeable future.

Despite the widespread acceptance and everyday practice of public health measures, such as washing your hands frequently, physical distancing and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering in crowded places, it is possible that you or somebody you know will get sick and test positive for COVID-19.

If this happens, it is important to remember that there is nothing to be ashamed about. It is a reality that any of us could become sick from this very contagious virus.

We are in this together and the best way to get through this will be to support each other and recognize that nobody wants to be sick and nobody wants to spread the virus in their community.

We encourage all Canadians to be aware of the many symptoms associated with COVID-19. Symptoms vary from person to person and by age but the most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite and loss of smell or taste. Less common symptoms include, but are not limited to, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches.

Anyone who feels even mildly ill with symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and contact their local public health authority to determine how they should proceed to get tested. People who test positive for COVID-19 need our support and encouragement. Unfortunately, some people have experienced stigma, stress, and even feelings of guilt. In fact, they should be applauded for doing their part to help prevent further spread once they become aware of their infection, which includes staying home in isolation and helping local public health officials to trace contacts who may have been exposed.

It is also possible that someone who is not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 may, in fact, be infected with the virus. If someone you know thinks they have been exposed to the virus or develops symptoms of COVID-19, encourage them to isolate themselves and contact their local public health authority for advice on next steps, including when and how to seek testing.

Friends, families, and employers and employees alike need to support each other on this front so we can continue to track transmission and keep it under control.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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