Remarks from the Chief Public Health Officer on June 18, 2021


June 18, 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, 7-day rolling averages continue to decline. Our current national average of 1,137 cases reported daily is down more than 85% from the peak of the third wave. Likewise, the average number of people with COVID-19 being treated in our hospitals each day is down more than 65% since the peak to 1,430 daily. Of these, on average, 650 people were being treated in intensive care units and an average of 20 deaths were reported daily.

Together, we’ve made incredible progress in lowering COVID-19 infection rates by maintaining precautions, while we work to increase population immunity by expanding first dose vaccine programs and accelerating second dose programs. The payoffs now and in the weeks and months to come will be invaluable. Just this week, healthcare workers had cause for great cheer as the medical surgical intensive care unit at the Toronto General Hospital announced zero COVID-19 patients for the first time since March 2020!

In addition to preventing more severe illness and loss of life, our continued efforts to drive COVID-19 infection rates down everywhere is preparing us for a safer future by building a better buffer against the rise of the Delta variant. As we’ve seen every step of the way, the secret to all our successes has been people in Canada working together - to stay informed, to help out in more ways than we could have imagined, and to step forward when it mattered most. And right now is an incredibly important moment for stepping up to get fully vaccinated. With COVID-19 disease activity waning, we have a window of opportunity to raise immunity as quickly and as high as possible to build a wall of protection though vaccination against emerging variants of concern like Delta.

This week, we saw a great response to the start of the pass the baton COVID-19 vaccination campaign, with Canadian Olympians and Paralympians, starting a relay of reasons on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Using #MyWhy, people across Canada are joining in and sharing their own compelling stories, from protecting our health and healthcare system to getting back to the in-person connections that enrich our fitness, fun, learning and growth.

In short, Canadians are doing it for themselves, their families, their loved ones and to be the coverage we want to see in the world! Working together, we can go for gold and get Canada vaxxed to the max!

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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