Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on May 25, 2021
May 25, 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.
Nationally, prior to the long weekend, we were seeing strong and steady declines in disease trends, and data after the long weekend will tell us whether these trends continue. The latest seven-day average of 5,000 or fewer new cases reported daily is 40% lower than the peak of activity in mid-April. The number of people experiencing severe and critical illness is also decreasing as overall infection rates come down. The latest 7-day average for the number of people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day has dropped by 20% since peak activity to about 3,400 daily. Of these, on average of about 1,300 were being treated in intensive care units, which has dropped 10% since the peak and average daily deaths are down 15% to 41 deaths being reported daily.
With 4.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses delivered before the long weekend and Canadians continuing to roll up their sleeves as vaccination clinics expand across the country, our fastest moving trend is happily that of vaccination coverage. Last Friday, we reached the milestone of 20 million people having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to date. This number is increasing fast.
To continue to make the progress we need, each of us has a key role to play on the vaccines runway. By getting vaccinated as soon as we're able and keeping up with essential precautions, such as masking and spacing, we can sustain our strong and steady progress, while more vaccines rollout to help us bring this curve in for a landing!
Regardless of your vaccinations status, following the advice of your local public health authority, choosing lower risk activities and settings, and keeping up with essential precautions will help protect the progress we've made and set us up for a better summer, while we get our house in order for a safer fall.
We've been asked to do a lot to protect each other and it would be great if we could say that this was the last wave we ever need to worry about. But until the infection rate is well and truly down we can't regain the upper hand and get our public health, laboratory and health capacity back on top and ready for the fall. If we can continue cautiously through the summer, while immunity is building across the country, we'll be able to re-establish proactive capacity for laboratory testing, genomic sequencing, case investigation and contact tracing to interrupt the spread at source.
Working together, we can end this pandemic and get back to the connections and activities that enrich our social and economic life and wellbeing in Canada.
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.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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