Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on September 30, 2020
September 30, 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 156,961 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,291 deaths. Labs across Canada tested an average of 71,000 people daily over the past week with 1.7% testing positive. An average of 1,471 cases have been reported daily across Canada during the most recent seven days.
As we know, the health impacts of the pandemic are far-reaching and go beyond those with COVID-19. Most public health authorities across Canada are reporting significant increases in opioid-related harm, including deaths. For example, from March to July, British Columbia reported 754 deaths from overdose, the highest number ever recorded. Sadly, many other jurisdictions have also reported record numbers of opioid-related harms. Across the country, local health authorities are working with communities to reverse this trend.
During the month of September, cities, organizations and people across Canada mark Recovery Days. Through virtual events, communities showed their support for people in recovery from substance use disorder.
Keeping case numbers at manageable levels is crucial to supporting Canadians both struggling with and in recovery from substance use disorder. While distancing, keeping in-person contact bubbles small and other public health measures are effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19, they can also increase feelings of isolation and create barriers for people who want and need access to recovery services.
That is why it is more important than ever to take care of ourselves. If you are struggling with substance use issues or other mental health concerns, there is help. You can find a full range of resources through the Wellness Together Canada mental health and substance use support portal. You can also access the portal through Canada.ca/coronavirus and the Canada COVID-19 App.
Substance use disorder is not a choice; it is a treatable medical condition with many pathways to recovery and wellness. It is always important that those in recovery be met with the compassion, understanding and support they need. If you know someone who is in recovery, reach out and remind them that they are not alone.
To get through the pandemic, we all need to recommit to supporting each other as we adhere to individual protective measures, including practising physical distancing and good hand hygiene; wearing non-medical masks as recommended; limiting in-person contacts as much as possible to a small, consistent and trusted contacts bubble; and following the golden rule of staying home and isolating from others if experiencing any symptoms, even mild ones.
Let's all do our part to help each other."
Public Health Agency of Canada
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