Remarks from the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer on May 21, 2021


May 21, 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, disease activity is steadily declining, but with the long weekend coming we'll need to maintain precautions to sustain our progress and avoid a post-holiday spike. Over the past seven days, we've seen a more than 25% decrease in daily cases with a current average of just over 5,000 new cases being reported daily. Although the number of people experiencing severe and critical illness remains elevated, these numbers are coming down as well. Compared to last week, there has been a 10% decrease in the number people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day, for a daily average of under 3,500. Of these, on average just over 1,300 were being treated in intensive care units, which is down 4% and an average of 41 deaths, down 15%, were reported daily.

On the vaccine front, we are making phenomenal progress. In just five weeks, we've doubled the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses given across Canada from 10 million doses administered by mid-April to almost 20 million doses administered to-date, as of today!

Our actions this long weekend could not be more important! COVID-19 resurgences have followed social gatherings during past holidays and long weekends. With the important work we have left to do, this long weekend is not the time to let our guard down. 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 and a safer fall.

At same the time, we need to support our physical, social and mental health needs, and spending time outdoors can help. This long weekend, having a family hike along your favourite trail, taking in the sights and sounds on a walk around your neighbourhood, or enjoying a household barbeque in your backyard are among the many ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of the great Canadian outdoors, while keeping up with physical distancing and other precautions. Remember, unless you're with household members only, wearing a well-fitting mask is essential indoors or when outdoors and close to others.

Working together, we can end this pandemic and get back to the connections and activities that enrich our lives 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.


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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