Trudeau resumes briefings from home as COVID-19 cases soar across Canada

Grant Boone
November 20, 2020

Canada's chief public health officer Dr. Teresa Tam says there's an "urgency" to bring infections down as officials released the dire forecasts indicating that COVID-19 case counts have far surpassed levels seen during the first wave.

And, in the short term, Canada is projected to hit between 366,500 to 378,600 total cases, and between 11,870 to 12,120 deaths by November 30.

If socialization increases, the projections indicate that as 2020 draws to a close, Canada could see twelvefold increase from the current level of around 5,000 cases per day.

"The strain on health systems has resulted in hospitals having to postpone important medical procedures, while critical care beds for COVID-19 patients have reached, or, are at near maximum capacity in some areas", warns Tam.

"Moreover, epidemic growth is continuing at rapid pace, and about 15 per cent more daily cases are reported this week, compared to the last".

That number could be limited to 20,000 a day if Canadians maintain their current number of personal contacts, according to PHAC. "An average of about 4,800 cases are now being reported daily". Noting the frustration many have over seeing people not pulling their weight, Trudeau said even after making so many sacrifices this year, Canadians need to hang in there for "another few months". "Keep to those right now, because that is going to reduce the contact rates substantially", Tam said.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to address Canadians today as COVID-19 cases climb across the country and provinces impose new restrictions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Tam also said the country is aiming for the blue line of the trajectory.

Patty Hajdu, the federal health minister, said, "This wave is undeniably harder".

The data says the percentage of people testing positive has increased to about 6.5 per cent, above the World Health Organization's benchmark of five per cent.

Tam said Canada is failing to control community transmission of the virus, which has spread into long-term-care homes, group living settings and hospitals, and is spreading in Indigenous communities. Thankfully, recovery rates remain high, around 80 per cent nationwide while the newest cases are still considered ill.

To date, Canada has a total of 315,715 cases.

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