Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on April 30, 2021
April 30, 2021 | Ottawa, ON | Public Health Agency of Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create stress and anxiety for many Canadians, particularly those who do not have ready access to their regular support networks. Through the Wellness Together Canada online portal, people of all ages across the country can access immediate, free and confidential mental health and substance use supports, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The end of National Immunisation Awareness Week, today, is a nice segue leading into National Physicians’ Day tomorrow; not surprisingly, physicians are among the healthcare providers that Canadians trust most for vaccination advice. And during this long and difficult crisis, our debt of gratitude to physicians across Canada extends well beyond. But first, the numbers update.
To date, over 1.2 million cases of COVID-19, including 24,169 deaths have been reported in Canada. We are making progress nationally, but there are still a few tricky spots. Daily case counts have declined by 7% over the past week, to an average of below 7,900 cases. Unfortunately, the number of people experiencing severe and critical illness continues to rise. Over the past week, an average of almost 4,400 people with COVID-19 were being treated in our hospitals each day, including over 1,420 people being treated in intensive care units. At the same time, an average of 50 deaths were reported daily. Variants of Concern now represent a majority of reported COVID-19 cases, with the B117 variant accounting for over 95% of variants sequenced to date.
Taking a moment to acknowledge the important work that doctors are doing across Canada and around the world, we are reminded that the statistics we report daily are not just numbers. People who’ve been infected, those who have become seriously ill, and the families who have mourned a loss, have all relied on physicians across the health system to care for and support them. Beyond this, physicians, like others across the healthcare workforce, have continued to provide care under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Some are working tirelessly to provide direct treatment for patients with COVID-19. Others are working, despite the challenges of COVID-19, in order to maintain the best level of care for patients in all other areas from emergency medicine to mental health, management of chronic diseases, and prevention programs, including immunization.
As we did last year, on this day we would -once again- like to acknowledge the leadership, support and dedication of our provincial and territorial colleagues. Working together has made us all stronger in leading Canada through the long and rough terrain of this crisis.
We are a country of consensus and collaboration and this event has required -virtually around the clock- collaboration to assess the evolving science and evidence, provide a vast range of public health advice, and share practical experience at every stage of the response.
On behalf of our colleagues, I also want to thank Canadians for their continuing efforts. More than a year ago, when Chief Medical Officers called for massive changes to the everyday lives of Canadians, you rose to the challenge, and you have shown perseverance, kindness and solidarity.
Though we are in a difficult stretch right now, we are making progress. Public health measures are having an impact and, with over 13.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered across Canada to date, and vaccine supply increasing, we will get to better days ahead. As you continue with individual precautions, follow public health advice, and get vaccinated when your turn comes, please don't stop doing all the others things that are vital for maintaining your health. Seek immediate care for urgent issues and keep up with health visits to maintain physical and mental health, care for chronic diseases and prevent future problems by keeping up-to-date with screening and vaccinations! Even after you’ve received the vaccine, handwashing, physical distancing and mask-wearing remain as important as ever.
Thank you for staying as healthy as you can!
Read my backgrounder to access COVID-19 Information and Resources, including information on vaccination and ways to reduce your risk of infection and spreading.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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