Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on September 9, 2020


September 9, 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 133,748 cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada, including 9,153 deaths. 88% of people have now recovered. Over the past week, 47,806 people were tested daily, with 1.1% of people testing positive. An average of 618 new cases have been reported daily during the most recent seven days.

As Canadians continue to experience the joy of welcoming new additions to their families, there are important public health measures to consider to keep their infants safe.

Newborns are particularly vulnerable to a variety of infectious diseases, and it is especially important to protect them from COVID-19. 

If you are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, you may consider taking additional precautions to protect yourself beyond the public health measures of physical distancing, frequent hand hygiene, and wearing a mask when distancing is not possible. 

Ask visitors to postpone their visit if they’ve experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or if they’ve had contact with a confirmed case. Limit in-person visits to only those inside your close contacts bubble, with the exception of medical visits. Ensure those in your close contacts bubble practise good hand hygiene and wear a mask while visiting.

If you have or suspect you have COVID-19, your best source of health information is your primary health care provider. The Government of Canada also has an online self-assessment tool.

Breastfeeding provides many nutritional and health benefits to newborns and can provide some protection against certain infections. For these reasons, breastfeeding is still recommended when possible during the pandemic. At present, the evidence suggests that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted through breastmilk.

Childbirth and parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful, and new parents and caregivers may experience increased feelings of sadness, fear or confusion during this time. Parents are encouraged to stay connected with family, friends, and community supports, even if that connection is virtual.

Some Canadians have reported increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. September is fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) awareness month, which serves as a reminder that there is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption can lead to the development of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in infants exposed to alcohol before birth. If you’re struggling with alcohol use and are pregnant, or thinking of becoming pregnant, reach out to your healthcare provider.

Mental health support services and resources are available online, such as the Wellness Together Canada portal for mental wellness and substance use issues.  The Public Health Agency of Canada also has resources for new parents.


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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