Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on May 11, 2021


May 11, 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.

National trends are slowly declining but we've still got a number of areas across the country that are experiencing ongoing resurgences. Over the past seven days, an average of 7,275 cases have been reported daily and the number of people experiencing severe and critical illness remains high; on average 4,000 people with COVID-19 were being treated in our hospitals each day, including over 1,400 in intensive care units, and there were an average of 49 deaths reported daily.

This week Muslims across Canada and around the world will end their month-long fast of Ramadan with the feast of Eid al-Fitr, a spiritual celebration acknowledging the provision of strength and endurance. This year, we are all being called upon to endure a bit longer, and the reasons could not be more important – to save lives and end this pandemic.

Also, this week through Sunday is National Nursing Week, when we acknowledge the unrelenting dedication, expertise, and vital role of Canada's nurses across the expanse of health and public health. We're all aware of the skilled and caring touch that nurses provide, whether it's administering vaccines to keep us well or caring for us from illness through recovery. But nurses are also working behind the scenes contributing to the safeguarding and advancement of our health and wellness; from research and scientific studies to writing essential practice guidelines for health professionals. They have also been instrumental to the public health response to COVID-19 through contact tracing, screening at quarantine sites, and so much more. For the innumerable ways they work to keep us safe and healthy, we are grateful.

And considering the ongoing and difficult period that our healthcare workforce is working through, and the unrelenting pressure that this third wave is placing across the health system, there are hardly the words to thank them enough.

The end of a challenge can feel like the greatest test of our endurance, but in fact this is a powerful moment for us to show collective strength. The deepest gratitude we can show those who have helped us this far, through this long and difficult crisis, is to keep following their advice as vaccines continue to roll out and have more impact. For now, we need to remain cautious and do everything we can to protect ourselves and our communities, ease the pressure on the system, and help bring an end to this pandemic – this includes making an appointment to see your friendly neighbourhood nurse and rolling up your sleeve for the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are able!

Read my backgrounder to access COVID-19 Information and Resources, including information on vaccination and ways to reduce your risk of infection and spreading the virus to others.


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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