Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 22, 2020


August 22, 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 124,372 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,064 deaths. 89% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 5,034,059 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 2.5% of people testing positive overall. Over the last several weeks, national daily case counts have ranged from 350 to 500 cases, with an average of 380 cases being reported daily during the most recent seven 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 range from 350 to 500 new cases reported daily and the number of hospitalisations and deaths remain low, indicating that we are currently keeping the infection rate to a manageable level and minimising severe illness and death due to COVID-19.

Another indicator we are keeping a close watch on is the average number of people tested daily and the percent positive for COVID-19. This gives us an indication of how widely we are casting the net of surveillance to capture cases and accurately trace where transmission is occurring.

Currently, laboratory testing is continuing at a high rate, with an average of 48,714 people tested per day, while we are maintaining a low percentage positive. The latter indicates that our surveillance remains very sensitive, testing many people detect the positive cases. Over the most recent seven days, the percentage of people who tested positive for COVID-19 was 0.8%, meaning that on average 125 people are being tested for every case we detect, as we continue to cast the surveillance net wide in an effort to find cases and stamp out transmission where it is occurring.

We all have a role to play in keeping the spread of COVID-19 under manageable control by keeping our number of contacts low and taking precautions to reduce the risk of infection and spreading to others. You can find additional information and guidance to increase your COVID-19 know how and help you make informed decisions to keep you, your family and our communities safer here.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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