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


September 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 142,774 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,211 deaths. 87% of people have now recovered. Labs across Canada tested an average of 47,111 people daily over the past week with 1.4% testing positive. As of Friday September 18th, the average daily case count was reported as 849 across Canada during the previous seven days. As some provinces and territories do not report new cases over the weekend, the next update for the average daily case count will be provided on Tuesday, once these numbers have been compiled.

Let’s start off this new week on the right foot, with a renewed commitment to work ‘together apart’ to keep COVID-19 under control across Canada. Public health authorities are working hard to detect cases and trace contacts but they need help from all of us. To get back on track in the slow burn safe zone, we all need to strictly and consistently keep up with proven effective measures that control the spread of COVID-19. This includes maintaining two-metres physical distancing from people outside our close-contacts bubble (limiting in-person contacts to consistent, trusted household contacts is safest); washing our hands frequently; and wearing a non-medical mask in closed spaces, crowded places or close contact situations and when physical distancing is difficult. As always, the golden rule is to stay home and isolate yourself from others if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild.

When considering whether to attend an activity or event, remember that just because you might know the people attending, every person outside your household/close-contacts bubble significantly increases your risk of getting infected and spreading the virus. Be aware of the risks for exposure in your area and make informed decisions based on the latest advice, including following the recommendations set out by your provincial/territorial/local public health authorities.

Living with COVID-19 is about achieving a balance. This balance will allow us to enjoy the spaces and services that have re-opened thanks to our hard work, while at the same time protecting our communities and loved ones.  For more on how to protect yourself and others, read my backgrounder on COVID-19 Information and Resources.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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