Canada is hitting its second wave of COVID-19 as provinces start to implement tougher social gathering restrictions
In lieu of an in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:
“There have been 164,471 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, including 9,462 deaths. Laboratories across Canada continue to test at a high rate, with an average of over 71,000 people tested daily last week and 1.8% of these testing positive. As some provinces and territories do not report new cases over the weekend, the next update for the average daily case count will be provided on Tuesday, once these numbers have been compiled. We are also keeping a close watch on severe outcomes of COVID-19, including the average number hospitalized on any given day, which has been increasing in areas with high infection rates. Likewise, we are closely monitoring the average number of deaths being reported daily.
As we head into a new week, with Thanksgiving weekend close, we’ve got some serious planning to do. Not the carefree planning we had last Thanksgiving but rather some ingenious Canadian COVID-19 “holiday-hacks” that will ensure there are no viruses invited or passed around at our gatherings. This year’s celebrations need to include an abundance of personal protections and a set-up for virtual or safe distancing connections. Gatherings indoors will be safest if small and select, especially in regions of the country where infection rates are highest. Get-togethers outdoors that involve people from outside our close contacts bubble will be safest if well spaced.
Think about ways you can preserve and protect your close contacts bubble while connecting at a safe-distance from others. For example, layer on clothes for warmth and personal precautions against COVID-19 to enjoy a safe gathering in Canada’s wide-open spaces. An outdoor safe distancing meet-up with others who are not in your close contacts bubble might involve setting up in an open space where each contact bubble is no closer than the length of a picnic table apart. Remember, too close is too close, even if you are outdoors. Don’t share food or objects, “Bring-Your-Own” is safer. Do share friendships, experiences and the great Canadian outdoors – together apart!
Indoors and outdoors, the quickest and safest way for Canada to get back on the slow burn is for us all to for us to take every measure during every moment of our day, and always act in a way that can prevent the spread of illness to others. That means:
- Always keeping a 2-metre physical distance from others who are outside of our small, consistent and trusted contacts bubble, whether outdoors or indoors;
- Always keeping up with good hygiene habits of frequent and meticulous handwashing, covering coughs and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering where appropriate;
- Limiting the amount of time and the number of people you come into close contact with, and
- Opting for lower risk settings/situations where public health measures and policies are in place whenever possible.
We have a chance to prevent a further escalation of the pandemic if we all act together now. Local public health authorities cannot do it alone. Each of us must take action to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. Read through my COVID-19 information and resources backgrounder to understand the risks and know the precautions you can take.”