Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19, October 20, 2020


There have been 201,437 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,778 deaths. Nationally, there are close to 22,000 active cases across the country. Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of over 75,000 people daily, with 3.1% testing positive. Yesterday a total of 3,289 cases were reported nationally; 866 of these cases were backlogged cases from the weekend and the remaining over 2,400 were newly identified yesterday, bringing the average daily case count to over 2,370 cases. The number of people experiencing severe illness is also increasing. Over the past 7 days, there were on average over 950 individuals with COVID-19 being treated in Canadian hospitals, including close to 200 in critical care and an average of 22 deaths were reported each day.

As each part of the country is experiencing the pandemic differently, people may be facing uncertainty about what action is needed to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

What is certain, is that our response requires a collective effort. Everyone's actions matter. Whether your community is experiencing a resurgence and needs to reduce infection rates, or your community has low disease activity already and wants to keep it low, the way to do this is the same. We can all do our part by committing to proven effective public health measures; stay home if you have symptoms, even mild ones, wear a face mask as appropriate, and maintaining physical distancing.

I recognise that keeping apart is difficult and presents different challenges for different people. We all have unique circumstances and responsibilities. But, when it comes to being in close contact with others, we need to remember that every person that we encounter brings with them a whole network of contacts. So, as much as you can, I urge everyone to stick to your consistent, trusted close contacts and avoid encounters in crowded and closed settings with limited ventilation.

Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities or by downloading the COVID Alert app to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

For those who are active on social media platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube or within the gaming community, I urge you to spread the message to your broader social networks on how we can all work together to keep us on the slow burn in Canada. You can find links to credible information, information resources and infographics in my Twitter feed.

Read my backgrounder for more COVID-19 Information and Resources to increase your COVID know how and use your knowledge to support, guide, and influence others.

You can access COVID-19 awareness resources including graphics to help you spread the message on how we can all work together to "Plank the curve 2.0" on COVID-19 in Canada.

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