Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on August 8, 2020


August 8, 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 118,985 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 8,970 deaths. 87% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested 4,367,208 people for COVID-19 to date. Over the past week, an average of 48,360 people were tested daily, with 1% testing positive and an average of approximately 400 cases were reported daily from across the country.

Yesterday, in my remarks I highlighted a topic on the minds of many people these days - back to school. Across the country, jurisdictions are announcing plans for reopening schools, which take into account the local context and epidemiology of COVID-19.

Now that our collective efforts have flattened the curve and brought COVID-19 spread under manageable control, with increased capacity and public health measures in place to keep it that way, we must now establish a careful balance to keep the infection rate low, while minimizing unintended health and social consequences.

Schools are reopening to provide children with the in-school learning and socializing that is key to helping them achieve their best long-term outcomes. However, this is balanced with layers of mitigation measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

To support administrators of schools from kindergarten to grade 12 and local public health authorities in the safe resumption of in-school educational programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Canada, has developed guidance in collaboration with Canadian public health experts and stakeholders.

The guidance recommends a layered approach, including decreasing the number of interactions with others and increasing the safety of interactions. As well, to support local decision-making, the guidance outlines strategies for how schools can implement these measures. To learn more you can read the guidance here.

I encourage all Canadians to support your community of parents, students, teachers and administrators as schools work to re-open this academic year.

As with all of our efforts thus far, we are in this together and our individual actions matter. Living with COVID-19 means remaining aware of the risks for exposure in your area and making informed decisions based on the advice and recommendations of your local public health authority. Taking appropriate precautions and avoiding high-risk settings and situations will help to keep you, your family and community safe, while ensuring that we all can continue to do the things we enjoy. You can find additional information and resources here to help guide you in reducing your risk of infection and spreading to others.

Don't lose hope, stay the course and keep being part of the solution."


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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