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


October 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 173,123 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,541 deaths. Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of over 71,000 people daily, with 2.5% testing positive. National daily case counts continue to rise with an average of 2,052 new cases being reported daily during the most recent 7 days. Over the past week, there have been on average 673 individuals with COVID-19 in Canadian hospitals each day and 18 deaths reported daily.

These national trends reflect a series of regional epidemics that will continue to unfold differently in communities across the country. Canada’s two most populous provinces are reporting over 80% of the cases being reported nationally in recent weeks. Both provinces have also observed a rise in the number of hospitalized cases over the past several weeks raising concerns about straining health system capacity if the upward trend continues. Although the numbers remain well below those observed in the spring, both provinces are also reporting a concerning increase in the number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

The situation varies considerably in other parts of the country and can change rapidly. The territories and most Atlantic Provinces have not reported a case in many weeks. British Columbia and Manitoba, where relatively few cases were reported during the initial wave, now report daily case counts surpassing their peak daily case counts in the spring. New Brunswick had reported fewer than five cases daily since early June and is now rapidly responding to an outbreak at a long-term care home. We must all remain vigilant and ready to adapt and scale our collective response to address our local epidemiology.

Follow the guidance of your local public health agencies and departments. No matter where we live, it is up to all of us to follow the tried and true personal protective practices that we know are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

  • Keep your in-person contacts bubble small; connect with family and friends outside your household virtually.  
  •  Practise physical distancing; wash your hands frequently; and wear a mask where distancing may be difficult; and 
  • Stay home and self-isolate if you have symptoms, even mild ones.

Downloading the COVID Alert app is another valuable tool in our toolbox. Keeping COVID-19 at manageable levels, while keeping public spaces open, requires all of us to redouble our efforts.  

We must rise to the challenge again and work together to flatten the curve.”


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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