Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on  COVID-19, November 27, 2020


There have been 353,097 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 11,799 deaths. Nationally, there are 60,375 active cases across the country. Over the past week, labs across Canada have tested an average of over 75,500 people daily, with 7.6% testing positive. The national average case count is now over 5,300 cases reported daily over the last 7 days.

With continued rapid growth of the epidemic over many weeks in a growing number of health regions across Canada, the troubling rise in the number of people experiencing severe illness continues. Over the past week there have been on average over 2,100 individuals with COVID-19 being treated in Canadian hospitals, including over 430 in critical care, and 76 deaths reported each day.

Large weekly increases in new infections are being reported in many jurisdictions, with the highest daily numbers being reported in provinces west of the Atlantic region. In particular, sustained high case numbers in Quebec and Ontario and rapid growth in cases in Alberta mean these three provinces currently account for almost 75% of daily cases reported nationally.

All jurisdictions are implementing a range of public health measures and urging their populations to do everything they can to limit contact with people outside of their household. Ultimately, the concern is the same everywhere: continued spread of COVID-19 puts a strain on healthcare and essential services and threatens to overwhelm our capacity to respond. We are all in this together and impacts will affect all our wellbeing, which is why we are being called upon to take action to reduce the spread of the virus. If we continue on the current pace, our longer-range models continue to forecast significant increases in daily case counts and estimate that there could be up to 10,000 cases reported daily by mid-December.

Right now, we have a window of opportunity to act collectively together with public health authorities to bring the infection rate down to a safer trajectory. Two things are being asked of us: to follow local public health advice as measures are introduced for controlling spread across the population and to strictly and consistently maintain our individual protective practices to help prevent infection and spreading the virus. Stay home and self-isolate if you have any symptoms, even mild ones; clean your hands frequently; maintain physical distancing; wear a face mask when around people from outside of your immediate household; and avoid or limit time spent in the 3Cs - closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings and situations.  

As with our last effort to bend the curve, and more so now, this is not going to be a quick solution but a test of our determination and endurance. While now is not the time to gather, we can take comfort in knowing that the sacrifices we are making today are for our tomorrow. Now, is the time to plan holidays that are safer and still allow us to maintain our important traditions - finding new ways to celebrate, connect and support each other. With resilience and resolve, let's focus on the things that we can do, including doing our utmost to protect our families, friends and communities. Thank you.

Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others.

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