Canada ‘at a crossroads’: COVID-19 will continue to spread if behaviors don’t change, says Tam


OTTAWA – Latest federal modeling on the COVID-19 pandemic shows that in the short term, Canada’s epidemic is expected to continue to grow, predicting up to 155,795 total cases and 9,300 deaths by October 2, unless let Canadians re-adopt it. degree of health precautions they took during the first months of the pandemic. Federal health officials released an update on national COVID-19 modeling on Tuesday, as new cases of the virus continue to rise in several provinces, raising new concerns about Canada’s ability to avoid a full second wave.

There are currently nearly 11,000 active cases of COVID-19 in Canada, while a further 126,230 patients have recovered. To date, more than 9,200 Canadians have died from the novel coronavirus.

“Canada is at a crossroads and individual action to reduce contact rates will decide our path,” said the federal briefing document handed to reporters.

The new modeling shows how the evolution of pandemic charts in Canada in the coming weeks will vary widely depending on the precautions in place, projecting big spikes this fall if Canadians do not redouble their efforts to limit the number of close contacts they have. ‘they have, distance people who are not in their immediate social bubbles, wear masks when the distance cannot be maintained, and stay home if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.

“We all have the future in our hands when it comes to the decisions we make today,” Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in Tuesday’s briefing. “These decisions we’re making today, to say ‘no’, to connect in different ways, to reduce the size of our gatherings, to make sure that we don’t socialize more than is absolutely necessary, are actually going help reduce cases. It is a sacrifice we must all make. ”

Reported cases now reflect an increase in transmission one to two weeks ago, and projections indicate that if Canada maintains its current rate of contacts, the epidemic will come back “faster and stronger,” Dr. Theresa has warned. Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada.

It is time to re-enact the personal protection and separation measures that were taken in March and April to change the situation to reverse the growth of the epidemic, she said.

Tam said that with minimal controls – which is not the current reality in Canada – the epidemic in Canada is capable of climbing to a “very sharp and intense peak” because most Canadians are not immune. against the virus.

“This push could overwhelm the capacity of our health system and also have a significant impact on social and economic systems,” she said.

In the latest round of pandemic projections released last month, Canada’s top public health officials said they were preparing for a fall peak in COVID-19 cases and there would likely be outbreaks localized until at least January 2022.

Data on Tuesday shows the virus’s spread is accelerating nationally, but unevenly across Canada, with the Atlantic bubble not seeing the same increase in cases as other provinces.

Hospitalizations are lagging behind increases in reported cases but showing early signs of an increase, while COVID-19-related deaths remain low. The latest data also shows that outbreaks are now being reported in more settings, including following private gatherings, as well as in long-term care homes and schools.

Modeling in August showed that the infection rate hit young adults aged 20 to 39 the hardest since June. This continues to be the case, as Tuesday’s numbers show, prompting young people to act responsibly.

Tam said then that her team were preparing for a scenario “several times worse” than the first wave, but that she was convinced that Canada was more prepared than in March to face another wave.

It was during the April modeling briefing that showed that Canadians initially flattened the curve in many parts of Canada, which triggered a cascade of easing measures in many parts of the country. country that has allowed many businesses and workplaces to reopen and come together. sizes to increase.

Now, some areas are withdrawing what is allowed and increasing their alert levels, in a bid to slow the spread, a move Tam has said is necessary.

She stopped short of classifying the current rise in cases as a second wave, saying Canada is “riding this pandemic” like mogul ski slopes, and that it was too early to tell if the case rates reported now are the start of a huge increase. or just a bump along the road.

However, the new figures indicate that, as has been the experience in other countries, a second resurgence of COVID-19 may overtake the initial wave.

“The challenge we face now is to stay the course, even if we feel tired. We have done it before, we know what works and we know we can work together to make it happen, ”Tam said.


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