Canada’s chief public health officer says the challenge now for Canadians is to get the coronavirus pandemic in the country back to a “slow burn.”
“We’ve sacrificed a lot and learned a lot during these many months of living with COVID-19,” Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement on Sunday.
“Our goal is to reduce cases of COVID-19 infection to manageable levels.”
With recent spikes in various provinces, she urged Canadians to continue following public health guidelines.
To date, labs across 🇨🇦 have tested 8,644,269 people for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a>, w\ an average ~2.2% positive overall, for a rate of 229,966 people tested per million population in Canada. <a href=”https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo”>https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo</a>
Tam acknowledged on Saturday that there is confusion over public health measures in light of the fact that the pandemic is playing out differently across the country.
She urged Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic and to “keep our number of in-person close contacts low.”
What’s happening elsewhere in Canada
As of 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 198,124 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 167,104 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,760.
Quebec reported 1,094 new cases and six deaths on Sunday.
The province is currently more than halfway through a 28-day period of restrictions on social gatherings in three regions, including Montreal and Quebec City. Bars and restaurant dining rooms have been closed, along with movie theatres and gyms.
Ontario announced 658 new infections and five deaths.
Tighter COVID-19 restrictions come into effect in York Region, north of Toronto, starting Monday, when movie theatres, gyms and indoor dining rooms will have to close for 28 days. The region joins Ottawa, Peel Region and Toronto in reverting to a modified version of Stage 2 measures.
Toronto Western Hospital has declared a COVID-19 outbreak. The University Health Network confirmed today that 3 patients and 6 staff members within 2 different units had contracted the virus as of Friday. <a href=”https://t.co/YAQcT3FHNk”>https://t.co/YAQcT3FHNk</a>
Manitoba said on Sunday two more people have died and there are 44 new cases in the province.
Starting Monday, retailers in Winnipeg and surrounding communities will have their occupancy limited to 50 per cent. Gatherings will be capped at just five people. In addition, casinos and bars will be forced to close under measures that will last for at least two weeks.
New Brunswick reported its third death on Sunday. The individual was a resident of the Notre-Dame Manor, a special care home in Moncton with an ongoing outbreak of the virus. The resident was between the ages of 60 and 69, according to Public Health.
Nova Scotia reported two travel-related cases on Sunday. One person was travelling from within Canada but outside the Atlantic bubble, and the other was coming from international travel, a provincial spokesperson said.
Newfoundland and Labrador on Sunday reported no new cases for the second straight day.
In British Columbia, an outbreak has been declared at a meat-processing plant in Surrey. Fraser Health’s public health unit said in a statement on Sunday that 13 employees at J&L Beef Ltd. have tested positive to date.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 39.7 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 27.3 million have recovered.
In Europe, the number of confirmed positive cases of coronavirus in Italy continued to rise to new records on Sunday, hitting 11,705 in the last 24 hours. Many more tests are being carried out than during the March-April peak, when only the very ill were tested, but doctors have warned that the virus is again infecting more vulnerable patients, and hospitals are increasingly under stress.
In Asia, India has added 61,871 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, raising its total to about 7.5 million. Health officials have warned about the potential for the virus to spread during the religious festival season beginning later this month. New Delhi is also bracing for high air pollution levels, making the coronavirus fight more complicated in upcoming months.
In the Americas, Bolivia is holding mandatory in-person presidential elections on Sunday, even though it has been hard-hit by the pandemic. Nearly 8,500 Bolivians have died of the disease, giving it one of the highest fatality rates per capita in the world.
In Africa, South Africa’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19, his office said late on Sunday. South Africa, which has seen more than 700,000 infections, accounts for the majority of the continent’s more than 1.6 million confirmed cases.
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