Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada on July 23, 2021
July 23, 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.
As COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are continuing to track key epidemiological indicators to monitor trends and quickly detect emerging issues of concern, including to better understand the impact of circulating virus variants. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is also providing regular updates on COVID-19 vaccines administered, vaccination coverage and ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety across the country. The following is the latest summary on national numbers and trends.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 1,425,097 cases of COVID-19 and 26,526 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. Variants of concern (VOCs) represent the majority of recently reported COVID-19 cases, including four VOCs (B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta)) that have been detected in most provinces and territories. Regardless of which viruses are predominating in an area, we know that vaccination, in combination with public health and individual measures, continue to work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As public health restrictions are eased, some increase in cases, particularly among unvaccinated populations, is not unexpected. In recent days, we have been closely monitoring some increased disease activity in several jurisdictions, which is reflected in national case counts. Today's 7-day moving average of 448 new cases reported daily (July 16-22), shows a further increase (13%) over the previous week, compared to the 2.6% increase based on yesterday's 7-day moving average. Severe illness trends continue to decline, with the latest provincial and territorial data showing an average of 542 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (July 16-22), which is 14% fewer than last week. This includes, on average 244 people who were being treated in intensive care units (ICU), 20% fewer than last week and an average of 8 deaths were reported daily (July 16-22).
Administration of first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines is continuing across the country with the aim of achieving widespread, stronger and longer lasting immunity by fully vaccinating a high proportion of eligible people across Canada. As of July 22, 2021, provinces and territories have administered over 46.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. The latest data provincial and territorial data indicate that over 80% of people aged 12 years or older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and over 60% are fully vaccinated across Canada. Age specific data as of July 17th, show that 70% of adolescents aged 12-17 years have received at least one dose. Among those aged 70 years or older, 95% have received at least one dose and over 86% are now fully vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccination is important for all eligible age groups and I want everyone, including younger eligible age groups, to know how important you are in the vaccination effort. If you haven't already, please make an appointment to get your first or second dose as soon as you are able. For more information regarding the risks and benefits of vaccination, reach out to your local public health authorities, healthcare provider, or other trusted and credible sources, such as Canada.ca and Immunize.ca.
Canadians can access information on Canada.ca to understand the benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19, find guidance on life after vaccination and utilise free interactive risk assessment tools to aid in informed decision-making and understanding COVID-wise precautions to lower the risks in different settings. However, as jurisdictions begin to ease restrictions, risks and circumstances are not the same everywhere and following local public health advice continues to be important, regardless of your vaccination status. While COVID-19 is still circulating in Canada and internationally, core public health measures and individual protective practices can help us to reduce the spread: stay home/self-isolate if you have symptoms; be aware of risks associated with different settings; avoid all non-essential travel; and maintain individual protective practices such as physical distancing and wearing a well-fitted and properly worn face mask, as appropriate.
Canadians can also go the extra mile by sharing credible information on COVID-19 risks and prevention practices and measures to reduce COVID-19 in communities. Read my backgrounder to access more COVID-19 Information and Resources on ways to reduce the risks and protect yourself and others, including information on COVID-19 vaccination.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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