Remarks from the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer on August 5, 2021
August 5, 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.
The national epidemiology and modelling that we presented on Friday shows the progress that we have made and how the epidemic trajectory may evolve through the fall. Our collective efforts to reduce COVID-19 disease activity and increase vaccination coverage have enabled the lifting of many public health restrictions across the country, but this has come with an expected increase in daily case counts, concentrated largely in unvaccinated populations. Nationally, the average number of daily new cases reported is now over 900, an increase of 54% compared to the previous week. Fortunately, severe illness trends are still declining. On average, 449 people with COVID-19 are being treated in our hospitals each day, including 186 in intensive care units and an average of 6 deaths are being reported daily.
The modelling, which predicts a strong resurgence could occur if community-wide contact rates increase too quickly, highlighted the need for ongoing caution. With early signs of a Delta-driven fourth wave beginning, these forecasts continue to underscore the need to remain vigilant and steadfast in following public health advice while continuing to increase first and second dose vaccination coverage. This can help to keep infection rates lower and reduce the risk of a serious resurgence that could exceed healthcare capacity this fall and winter.
I cannot stress strongly enough how much every vaccination counts. This applies to every eligible age group in every community across Canada. Together we are building a firewall to keep the virus at bay, not letting any sparks take hold. This serves to protect not only our own health and wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of those who do not mount a strong immune response to the vaccine or who can’t get vaccinated, such as young children and those with medical contraindications to the vaccines.
If you or someone you love hasn’t already, please book an appointment to get the first and second dose. There’s still time to get vaccinated and strengthen the firewall. With the fall quickly approaching, this month is crucial for building up protection before we gather in schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces. Let’s take inspiration from Team Canada and keep striving for gold, which means getting fully vaccinated coverage above 80% across all age groups.
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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