Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 20, 2020


August 20, 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 123,490 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,049 deaths. 89% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,925,446 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of over 48,700 people were tested daily, with 0.8% testing positive. Over the last several weeks, national daily case counts have ranged from 350 to 500 cases, with just over 390 cases being reported daily during the most recent 7 days.

As public health authorities and Canadians continue with our collective effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, we are closely monitoring disease activity indicators including daily case counts, number of cases hospitalised and the percentage of people testing positive in order to inform, adjust and adapt our actions as needed.

Average daily case counts remain in the range of 350 to 500 new cases being reported daily across the country, indicating that we are currently keeping the infection rate to a manageable level. COVID-19 disease severity indicators, including the number of hospitalisations and deaths, remain at a low level. In recent weeks, younger age groups have represented a larger proportion of COVID-19 cases. Compared to all other age groupings, incidence rates have remained the highest in the 20 to 29 year age group. However, incidence rates appear to be declining in this age group somewhat since a peak incidence in mid-July.

Because COVID-19 in any age group can build a reservoir for the virus, we need to consider where the virus might spread next and continue with efforts to protect individuals and settings at higher risk for severe outcomes. We are closely monitoring for increased incidence in older age groups and possible increases in hospitalisation or critical care admissions that could indicate a shift in transmission patterns.

We all have a role to play in keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control and away from those at high risk of severe outcomes. Understanding the risks, following local public health guidance and taking appropriate precautions will help us make informed decisions to keep us, our families, and our communities safer. You can find additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know how here.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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