Canada’s COVID-19 death rate still significantly lower than the United States Per Capita
As the resurgence of COVID-19 activity continues in Canada, we are tracking a range of epidemiological indicators to monitor where the disease is most active, where it is spreading and how it is impacting the health of Canadians and public health, laboratory, and healthcare capacity. The following is the latest summary of national numbers and trends, and the actions we all need to be taking to maintain COVID-19 at manageable levels across the country.
Since the first cases were reported in March 2020, there have been 211,732 cases of COVID-19, including 9,888 deaths reported in Canada; these cumulative numbers tell us about the overall burden of COVID-19 illness to date. Though the cumulative number is high and continues to increase, it is important to remember that the vast majority of Canadians remain susceptible to COVID-19. This is why it is important for everyone to continue with individual precautions that will keep ourselves, our families and our communities safer.
At this time, there are 23,965 active cases across the country. The latest national-level data indicate daily averages of 2,488 new cases (Oct 16-22) and 74,719 people tested, with 3.1% testing positive (Oct 11-17). Outbreaks continue to contribute to COVID-19 spread in Canada.
These vary in size from just a few cases to larger clusters occurring in a range of settings including long-term care and assisted living facilities, schools, congregate living settings, industrial work settings, and large social gatherings. Larger clusters tell us that closed and crowded settings and/or not sufficiently maintaining public health practices, such as physical distancing and mask-wearing, can amplify the spread of the virus.
The number of people experiencing severe illness continues to increase. Provincial and territorial data, indicate that an average of 1,010 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Canadian hospitals each day during the most recent 7-day period (Oct 16-22), including 209 of whom were being treated in intensive care units. During the same period, there were an average of 23 COVID-19-related deaths reported daily.
As hospitalizations and deaths tend to lag behind increased disease activity by one to several weeks, the concern is that we have yet to see the extent of severe impacts associated with the ongoing increase in COVID-19 disease activity. As well, influenza and respiratory infections typically increase during the Fall and Winter, placing increased demands on hospitals. This is why it is so important for people of all ages to maintain public health practices that keep respiratory infection rates low.
Canada needs a collective effort to sustain the public health response through to the end of the pandemic while balancing the health, social and economic consequences. We can all do our part by keeping our number of in-person close contacts low and committing to proven effective public health practices; stay home/self-isolate if you have any symptoms, maintain physical distancing, wear a face mask as appropriate, and keep up with hand, cough and surface hygiene.
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 and by downloading the COVID Alert app to help limit the spread of COVID-19.