COVID-19 in Canada: Modelling update

Download the alternative format
(PDF format, 272 KB, 21 pages)

Organization: Health Canada

Date published: 2020-04-28

On this page

Strategy: Action now determines our future

Data and modelling are guiding Canada's response to COVID-19

Reminder of our strategy for this phase of the epidemic: Control epidemic, increase health case system capacity

Control the epidemic

Measures to reduce the number of people a person infects to less than 1 to end onward transmission (e.g., physical distancing, travel restrictions, self isolation). Represented by the downward arrow in Figure 1.

Increase health care capacity

Measures to increase the healthcare hard assets (e.g., ventilators) and health human resources. Represented by the upward arrow in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1 - Long description

A blue line describes a bell curve that shows the number of new cases over time. A blue downward arrow represents “Control the epidemic”

A red horizontal dotted line indicating the capacity of the health care system cuts across the curve. A red upward arrow represents “Increase health care capacity”

If each person infects fewer than one person on average, the epidemic dies out

Figure 2

Figure 2 - Long description

Where we've been: Image 1 illustrates one person infecting 2.19 other people.

Where we are now: Image 2 illustrates one person infecting fewer than two people.

Where we want to be: Image 3 illustrates one person infecting less than one other person.

Where we've been

Prior to stronger public health measures, each infected person (case) in Canada infected 2.19 other people on average.

Where we are

Today, stronger controls including physical distancing and self-isolation are helping to reduce the average number of people each case infects to just above 1.

Where we want to be

Goal: Each person infects fewer than one person on average; epidemic dies out.

Epidemiology: The pandemic in Canada today

National overview, by province and territory, age and gender

Data as of April 27, 2020 at 11:00 am

Figure 3

Figure 3 - Long description

Table 1: Total number of confirmed and reported COVID-19 cases in Canada as of April 27, 2020 at 11:00 am

Province, territory or other Number of total cases
Canada 47,327
Alberta 4,448
British Columbia 1,948
Manitoba 271
New Brunswick 118
Newfoundland and Labrador 258
Northwest Territories 5
Nova Scotia 873
Nunavut 0
Prince Edward Island 26
Quebec 24,107
Ontario 14,856
Saskatchewan 353
Yukon 11
Repatriated travellers 13

Note: The total number includes publicly reported confirmed and probable cases

Median age: 52 years old (cases from less than a year old to 111 years old)

Gender of reported cases
Gender Proportion of casesFootnote a
Females 55%
Males 45%
Other gender Les than 1%

Footnote

Footnote a

Age and gender available for 26,650 cases.

Return to footnote a referrer

Severity indicator Total number of reported cases Proportion of cases
Deaths 2,617 5.5%
Hospitalization 2,795 17.1%Footnote b
Admissions to intensive care unit 692 4.2%Footnote b

Footnote

Footnote b

Of 16,348 detailed case reports for which hospitalization status was available

Return to footnote b referrer

Older Canadians and males are at greater risk of severe outcomes

Data as of April 27, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Figure 4

Figure 4 - Long description
Distribution of COVID-19 cases by age group
Percentage of severity indicator Less than 19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80+
General population 21.6% 27.4% 26.8% 19.9% 4.3%
Cases 4.7% 25.5% 32.5% 21.2% 16.1%
Hospitalisation 0.6% 7.5% 26.0% 40.6% 25.3%
ICU admissions 0.3% 5.4% 31.1% 52.3 % 10.9%
Deaths 0.0% 0.8% 4.2% 28.2% 66.8%

Canada has several regional epidemics

Data as of April 27, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Figure 5

Figure 5 - Long description
Table: Cumulative number of COVID-19 cases by province or territory since the 100th reported case.
Days since 100th reported case Canada AB BC MB NB NL NS ON QC SK
1 103 146 103 103 101 102 110 103 121 104
2 141 195 186 127 103 120 122 145 139 134
3 179 226 271 167 105 135 127 177 221 134
4 199 259 271 182 108 148 147 189 221 175
5 253 301 424 194 111 152 173 258 628 184
6 341 358 424 203 112 175 193 311 1,013 193
7 440 419 472 204 112 183 207 377 1,339 206
8 597 486 617 217 114 183 236 425 1,629 220
9 873 542 659 221 116 195 262 503 2,021 231
10 1,004 542 725 224 116 217 293 588 2,498 249
11 1,371 621 725 230 117 226 310 688 2,840 253
12 1,471 690 884 243 117 228 342 858 3,430 260
13 2,091 754 884 242 117 232 373 993 4,162 271
14 2,792 754 960 246 118 236 407 993 4,611 278
15 3,409 968 970 246 118 239 428 1,355 5,518 285
16 4,043 1,075 1,066 246 118 241 445 1,706 6,101 289
17 4,689 1,075 1,121 250 118 242 474 1,966 6,997 298
18 5,425 1,250 1,174 250 118 244 517 2,392 7,944 300
19 6,258 1,348 1,203 253 118 244 549 2,793 8,580 301
20 7,437 1,373 1,203 253 118 247 579 3,255 9,340 304
21 8,548 1,423 1,266 254 118 252 606 3,630 10,031 305
22 9,613 1,451 1,291 255 118 256 649 4,038 10,912 307
23 11,283 1,500 1,336 257 118 257 675 4,347 11,677 313
24 12,537 1,569 1,370 262 n/a 257 721 4,726 12,292 315
25 13,904 1,651 1,410 263 n/a 257 737 5,276 12,846 316
26 15,512 1,732 1,445 267 n/a 257 772 5,759 13,557 320
27 16,667 1,870 1,445 271 n/a 256 827 6,237 14,248 326
28 17,897 1,996 1,490 272 n/a 256 850 6,648 14,860 331
29 19,289 2,158 1,517 n/a n/a 256 865 7,049 15,857 341
30 20,765 2,397 1,561 n/a n/a 257 873 7,470 16,798 349
31 22,148 2,562 1,561 n/a n/a 258 900 7,953 17,521 353
32 23,318 2,562 1,575 n/a n/a 258 n/a 8,447 18,357 365
33 24,383 2,908 1,618 n/a n/a n/a n/a 8,961 19,319 n/a
34 25,680 3,095 1,618 n/a n/a n/a n/a 9,525 20,126 n/a
35 27,063 3,401 1,699 n/a n/a n/a n/a 10,010 20,965 n/a
36 28,381 3,720 1,724 n/a n/a n/a n/a 10,578 21,838 n/a
37 30,092 4,017 1,795 n/a n/a n/a n/a 11,184 22,616 n/a
38 31,884 4,233 1,824 n/a n/a n/a n/a 11,735 23,267 n/a
39 33,354 4,480 1,853 n/a n/a n/a n/a 12,245 24,107 n/a
40 34,786 4,696 1,948 n/a n/a n/a n/a 12,879 24,982 n/a
41 36,831 n/a 1,948 n/a n/a n/a n/a 13,519 n/a n/a
42 38,422 n/a 1,998 n/a n/a n/a n/a 13,995 n/a n/a
43 40,190 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 14,432 n/a n/a
44 42,110 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 14,856 n/a n/a
45 43,888 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
46 45,354 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

Driving forces behind regional epidemics

Canada's epidemic growth is slower than many international partners

Data as of April 27, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Figure 6

Figure 6 - Long description
Cumulative number of community cases (log scale)
Days since 500th case Canada China (Mainland) France Germany Italy Japan South Korea Spain United Kingdom United States
0 597 606 613 534 650 514 602 589 590 554
1 725 885 949 684 888 568 833 1,235 798 754
2 873 2,033 1,126 847 1,128 620 977 1,639 1,140 1,039
3 1,081 2,809 1,412 1,112 1,689 675 1,261 2,140 1,391 1,312
4 1,371 4,585 1,784 1,139 2,036 737 1,766 3,004 1,543 1,663
5 1,474 6,057 2,281 1,296 2,263 780 2,337 4,231 1,950 2,174
6 2,091 7,801 2,876 1,567 3,089 814 3,150 5,753 2,630 2,951
7 2,792 14,451 3,661 2,369 3,858 824 3,736 7,753 3,277 3,774
8 3,409 17,302 4,499 3,062 4,636 829 4,212 9,191 3,983 4,661
9 4,043 20,028 5,423 3,795 5,884 873 4,812 11,178 5,018 6,427
10 4,757 24,384 6,633 4,838 7,375 950 5,328 13,716 5,683 9,415
11 5,655 28,083 7,730 6,012 9,172 1,007 5,766 17,147 6,650 14,250
12 6,320 31,203 9,134 7,156 10,149 1,046 6,284 19,980 8,077 19,624
13 7,448 34,609 10,995 8,198 12,462 1,089 6,767 24,926 9,529 26,747
14 8,591 37,097 12,612 14,138 15,113 1,128 7,134 28,572 11,658 35,206
15 9,731 40,046 14,459 18,323 17,660 1,193 7,382 33,089 14,543 46,442
16 11,285 42,651 16,018 21,463 21,157 1,268 7,513 47,610 17,089 55,231
17 12,537 44,682 19,856 24,774 24,747 1,364 7,755 56,188 19,522 69,194
18 14,018 59,822 22,302 29,212 27,980 1,499 7,869 64,059 22,141 85,996
19 15,512 63,862 25,233 31,554 31,506 1,693 7,979 72,248 25,150 104,686
20 16,667 66,496 29,155 36,508 35,713 1,866 8,086 78,797 29,474 124,686
21 17,897 68,440 32,964 42,288 41,035 1,953 8,162 85,195 33,718 143,025
22 19,291 70,955 37,575 48,582 47,021 1,953 8,236 94,417 38,168 164,620
23 20,765 72,425 40,174 52,547 53,578 2,178 8,320 102,136 41,903 189,618
24 22,148 74,186 44,550 57,298 59,138 2,617 8,413 110,238 47,806 216,721
25 23,318 74,578 52,128 61,913 63,927 2,935 8,565 117,710 51,608 245,540
26 24,383 75,467 56,989 67,366 69,176 3,271 8,652 124,736 55,242 277,965
27 25,680 76,291 59,105 73,522 74,386 3,654 8,799 130,759 60,733 312,237
28 27,063 76,935 64,338 79,696 80,539 3,817 8,897 135,032 65,077 337,635
29 28,379 77,147 68,605 85,778 86,498 3,906 8,961 140,510 70,272 368,449
30 30,106 77,659 70,478 91,714 92,472 4,257 9,037 146,690 78,991 399,929
31 31,927 78,064 74,390 95,391 97,689 4,667 9,137 152,446 84,279 432,438
32 33,354 78,497 78,167 99,225 101,739 5,347 9,241 157,022 88,621 466,299
33 34,786 78,824 82,048 103,228 105,792 6,748 9,332 161,852 93,873 501,615
34 36,831 79,251 86,334 108,202 110,574 7,255 9,478 166,019 98,476 530,006
35 38,422 79,826 90,676 113,525 115,242 7,645 9,583 169,496 103,093 557,590
36 40,190 80,026 93,790 117,658 119,827 8,100 9,661 172,541 108,692 582,594
37 42,110 80,151 95,403 120,479 124,632 8,582 9,786 177,633 114,217 609,685
38 43,888 80,270 98,076 123,016 128,948 9,167 9,786 182,816 120,067 639,664
39 45,354 80,410 103,573 125,098 132,547 9,795 9,976 188,068 124,743 671,425
40 46,895 80,555 106,206 127,584 135,586 10,361 10,062 191,726 129,044 706,779
41 48,500 80,651 108,847 130,450 139,422 10,751 10,156 195,944 133,495 735,287
42 n/a 80,695 109,252 133,830 143,626 11,118 10,237 200,210 138,078 759,786
43 n/a 80,735 111,821 137,439 147,577 11,496 10,284 204,178 143,464 787,960
44 n/a 80,756 112,606 139,897 152,271 11,772 10,331 208,389 148,377 825,306
45 n/a 80,780 114,657 141,672 156,363 12,240 10,384 213,024 152,840 842,629
46 n/a 80,793 117,324 143,457 159,516 12,892 10,423 219,764 157,149 869,172
47 n/a 80,801 119,151 145,694 162,488 13,182 10,450 219,764 n/a 905,333
48 n/a 80,826 120,804 148,046 165,155 13,385 10,450 219,764 n/a 939,249
49 n/a 80,844 122,577 150,383 168,941 13,576 10,512 226,629 n/a 965,933
50 n/a 80,866 124,114 152,438 172,434 n/a 10,537 229,422 n/a 988,469
51 n/a 80,882 124,575 154,175 175,925 n/a 10,564 n/a n/a n/a
52 n/a 80,905 128,339 155,193 178,972 n/a 10,591 n/a n/a n/a
53 n/a 80,929 n/a 156,337 181,228 n/a 10,613 n/a n/a n/a
54 n/a 80,974 n/a n/a 183,957 n/a 10,635 n/a n/a n/a
55 n/a 81,013 n/a n/a 187,327 n/a 10,653 n/a n/a n/a
56 n/a 81,057 n/a n/a 189,973 n/a 10,661 n/a n/a n/a
57 n/a 81,114 n/a n/a 192,994 n/a 10,674 n/a n/a n/a
58 n/a 81,177 n/a n/a 195,351 n/a 10,683 n/a n/a n/a
59 n/a 81,285 n/a n/a 197,675 n/a 10,694 n/a n/a n/a

Comparable countries whose epidemics began earlier were chosen for this comparison.

Growth is declining across most comparison countries shown in the figure, likely due to strong public health and global measures.

Canada's epidemic growth is slowing. Although previously doubling every 3 days early in the epidemic, the number of cases in Canada is now doubling every 16 days.

Notes:

Looking forward: Modelling scenarios

Canada's approach to modelling

Forecasting the short-term epidemic trajectory

Figure 7

Figure 7 - Long description

Extrapolation based on recent trends using a forecasting model (with ranges of uncertainty)

Current cases and deaths
Date Cumulatively reported cases Cumulative number of deaths
2020-04-17 32,849 1,365
2020-04-18 34,380 1,527
2020-04-19 36,016 1,636
2020-04-20 37,860 1,757
2020-04-21 39,392 1,909
2020-04-22 41,363 2,072
2020-04-23 43,227 2 232
2020-04-24 44,856 2,390
Table: Range of predicted cases and deaths from April 25 to May 5
  Predicted cases average (95% range) Predicted deaths average (95% range)
2020-04-25 46,653 (46,236; 47,071) 2,527 (2,472; 2,581) 
2020-04-26 48,360 (47,655; 49,065) 2,667 (2,594; 2,740) 
2020-04-27 50,011 (48,903; 51,119) 2,801 (2,706; 2,896) 
2020-04-28 51,592 (49,970; 53,215) 2,928 (2,809; 3,047)
2020-04-29 53,092 (50,857; 55,328) 3,047 (2,903; 3,191)
2020-04-30 54,501 (51,575; 57,428) 3,157 (2,986; 3,327) 
2020-05-01 55,812 (52,139; 59,486) 3,258 (3,061; 3,456) 
2020-05-02 57,020 (52,565; 61,475) 3,351 (3,127; 3,576) 
2020-05-03 58,122 (52,872; 63,372) 3,435 (3,184; 3,687)
2020-05-04 59,120 (53,077; 65,162) 3,511 (3,234; 3,789)
2020-05-05 60,015 (53,196; 66,835) 3,579 (3,277; 3,883)

Two graphs showing an upward sloping curve representing actual cumulatively reported cases and deaths in Canada from March 1 to April 24, 2020. The line splits into 2 scenarios predicting data for May 5, 2020. Top line shows the upper 95% prediction limit. Lower line shows the lower 95% prediction limit.

  • 53,196 to 66,835 cases by May 5, 2020
  • 3,277 to 3,883 deaths by May 5, 2020

Modelled scenarios show impact of public health measures

Models help us identify which combinations of public health measures, applied with what intensity, are most likely to reinforce epidemic control.

Figure 8

Figure 8 - Long description

Graphic with 3 curves:

  • Stronger epidemic control: Small shortest curve from Spring to Fall 2020, with a peak in Summer 2020
  • No control effort: Tall short curve from Spring to Fall 2020, with a peak in Summer 2020
  • Weaker controls (delays and reduce the peak): Medium long curve from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021, with a peak in Fall 2020

Our ambition: Early and rapid epidemic control

Figure 9

Figure 9 - Long description

On the left, a blue line describes a steep, high curve that begins in the spring and ends in the summer followed by a series of three low orange curves, representing smaller outbreaks in late summer, fall and winter. A final upward sloping orange line suggests a fourth small outbreak next year.

The four orange lines are labelled "Reduce importation and transmission."

With early epidemic control, responses to outbreaks will likely continue to be required over time.

Summary

What we do together now to stop the spread of the virus will determine the overall impact of COVID-19 on the health of all Canadians

Annex

Dynamic models of scenarios

Model moves people through different states of infection. All start out as susceptible.

Individuals are then exposed. They either become infected, or remain susceptible.

Figure 10 – Disease stages

Figure 10 - Long description
  • Latent period
  • Asymptomatic infectious period
  • Symptomatic infectious period
  • Outcome

The duration of each stage has an impact on the speed of spread of the disease. The models are run with different values for these periods.

Mitigating factors

Model includes factors that reduce transmission, with different scenarios for different levels of public health measures possible. Hospitalization in the models is also assumed to include no further transmission.

Exacerbating factors

Model includes factors that increase transmission, i.e., the movement of infectious (symptomatic / asymptomatic) people, where contacts take place (e.g., school, work, etc.).

Modelled scenarios—varied public health measures

Stronger epidemic control models include

Weaker control models include

Cumulative deaths under different scenarios over the course of pandemic

Figure 11

Figure 11 - Long description

Potential number of deaths in Canada given different scenarios and percentages of the population infected.

Epidemic control Percentage of the population affected Number of deaths
Stronger epidemic control 1% 4,000
2.5% 11,000
5% 22,000
10% 44,000
Weaker controls 25% 111,000
50% 222,000
No controls 70% 311,000
80% 355,000

Scenarios show a range of impact for Canada over the course of the pandemic

Table: Overall percentage of population infected according to different levels of epidemic control
Level of epidemic controls Percentage All cases Hospitalized ICU Deaths
Stronger epidemic control 1% 376,000 29,000 9,000 4,000
Stronger epidemic control 2.5% 940,000 73,000 23,000 11,000
Stronger epidemic control 5% 1,879,000 146,000 46,000 22,000
Stronger epidemic control 10% 3,759,000 292,000 92,000 44,000
Weaker controls 25% 9,397,000 730,000 229,000 111,000
Weaker controls 50% 18,795,000 1,461,000 459,000 222,000
No controls 70% 26,312,000 459,000 642,000 311,000
No controls 80% 30,071,000 222,000 724,000 355,000

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Age information available for 25,314 cases, 2,468 hospitalizations, 660 ICU admissions and 983 deaths.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: