Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 12, 2020


August 12, 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 120,421 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,991 deaths. 88% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,541,747 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 43,000 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive. Based on the most recent 7 days, there have been an average of 443 cases reported daily from across the country. 

As public health authorities and Canadians across the country continue with efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators such as daily case counts and percentage of people testing positive. Presently, our efforts indicate that we are keeping COVID-19 spread under manageable control—but the virus is still circulating in Canada and we must not let down our guard.

Nationally, significantly fewer new cases are being reported daily compared to the more intense weeks of COVID-19 activity in Canada, from late March to June. Case counts peaked in late April and early May at close to 1,800 cases reported daily and then declined steadily reaching a low of 270 cases per day in early July. COVID-19 transmission has increased recently with the opening of economic and social spaces. Over the last several weeks, national daily case counts are averaging between 350 to 500 cases.

Fortunately, the number of new deaths reported daily has remained low following a steep decline from the peak in early May when close to 200 deaths were reported daily. Fewer than 10 deaths have been reported per day on average over the last four weeks. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions also remain low across most jurisdictions with fewer than 400 individuals in hospitals and fewer than 100 individuals in critical care across the country on any given day over the last several weeks.

Canadians under the age of 40 years have comprised over 50% of cases in the previous two weeks. Since early July, the incidence of COVID-19 has remained the highest among individuals aged 20 to 29 years in particular, compared to all other age categories, although the number of cases in this age group has begun to decline in recent weeks.

For more on the current epidemiological situation, see the latest outbreak update.

We know what public health actions and everyday individual level precautions we need to take to maintain control of COVID-19 in Canada. Understanding the risks, following local public health guidance and taking appropriate precautions can help us make informed decisions to keep us, our families, and our communities safer. You can find resources here to help guide you.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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