Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, says meeting family members can create a false sense of security and increase the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading.
“Too close is too close even if you’re outside,” Tam added.
Federal officials said earlier Tuesday that 3.4 million Canadians had downloaded the COVID Alert app.
A total of 160,000 of those downloads took place in the past 24 hours, officials said at a briefing.
They couldn’t tell which provinces saw the biggest increase in usage.
Quebec became the last province to adopt the app on Monday.
Meanwhile, following calls from public health officials to make more testing options available, Health Canada on Tuesday approved the first rapid COVID-19 antigen test for use in the country.
U.S.-based Abbott Laboratories can now sell and distribute the Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test Device, which can produce results in less than 20 minutes. Health Canada has cleared it as a point-of-care test, which means it can be used by qualified professionals in pharmacies, walk-in clinics or doctor’s offices.
Health Canada approved another Abbott rapid test last week, the ID NOW, which is a molecular test.
Rapid antigen tests – which the device says uses material collected from a nasal or throat swab – do not require the use of a lab to generate results.
Although much faster, these tests are considered less accurate than the “gold standard” – the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test process currently used in Canada.
What’s happening in the rest of Canada
As of 2 p.m. ET Tuesday, Canada had 170,872 confirmed or suspected cases of the coronavirus. Provinces and territories have listed 143,733 of them as recovered or resolved. A CBC News death tally based on provincial reports, regional health news and CBC news stories stood at 9,526.
1/2 To date, the laboratories have tested 7,695,259 people for # COVID19 , w an average of about 2.1% positive overall, for a rate of 204,720 people tested per million population in Canada. https://t.co/jrZH3tHRUo
Québec reported 1,364 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest total ever reported in a single day in the province – and 17 more deaths on Tuesday. Hospitalization rates also continued to rise, increasing by 36 in one day, bringing the total currently hospitalized for COVID-19 to 397.
As the province marks its fifth consecutive day with more than 1,000 recorded cases, Health Minister Christian Dubé posted a sobering message on Twitter. “This second wave is causing victims,” he wrote. “The sacrifices are necessary to have as few victims as possible”.
Ontario reported 548 more COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with almost two-thirds of the new cases in the Greater Toronto Area. Health Minister Christine Elliott said about 61% of new cases were in people under the age of 40.
The province’s laboratory network has processed more than 42,000 test samples for the novel coronavirus, while the backlog stands at 55,483. To help laboratories eliminate the backlog of test samples, which at its most high level, rose to more than 92,000, the province’s appointment-only test plan officially entered into force. Health experts have warned the change could result in an artificially low number of new daily cases later this week.
WATCH | Ontario sends COVID-19 swabs to California lab for processing:
New Scotland will step up COVID-19 testing and pilot a gargle test at the IWK Health Center, Premier Stephen McNeil said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
McNeil said major assessment centers in the province will be larger and open longer with increased staffing. Laboratory capacity is increased to process 2,500 tests per day by mid-November. Equipment will also be added to Sydney in early November so that tests do not have to be sent to Halifax for analysis and processing.
Manitoba on Tuesday announced 56 new cases and said another person with COVID-19 had died.
The latest death, a woman in her 60s from Whitemud District in the Prairie Mountain Health region, brings the total number of COVID-related deaths in Manitoba to 24.
New Brunswick The chief medical officer of health said on Tuesday there were two new cases of COVID-19 at a Moncton special care home.
One of the residents of Manoir Notre Dame who has COVID-19 is over 70, the other is over 80, Dr Jennifer Russell said at a press conference. Russell described the two as being in “stable” condition. She said a team was in place to test the other residents and some staff had reported COVID-19-like symptoms.
PEI Steps Up Public Health Enforcement Against COVID-19 With New Rules On Workplace Isolation.
Workers, who are not in health care or who are designated as rotational workers who regularly enter and exit the Atlantic bubble, must now apply to be allowed to work in isolation. Isolation at work allows people to go to work with special restrictions, but otherwise they have to stay at home.
What is happening in the world
According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 35.5 million. Over 1,040,000 people have died, while over 24.8 million have recovered.
In AsiaJapan and South Korea have agreed to resume business travel between the two countries from Oct. 8, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry. South Koreans will be able to enter Japan on business and perform work, but will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine after entering, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
India has recorded 61,267 new cases of coronavirus, its smallest daily increase since August 25. The country with nearly 6.7 million reported infections has seen the highest single-day increases in the world for almost 45 days. The past three weeks, however, have seen a gradual decline.
In Africa, 15 clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines are underway across the continent, according to a comment posted in the journal Nature by the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – five trials are underway in South Africa and four in Egypt, with a single trial each in Guinea-Bissau, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
African countries have teamed up to fight the pandemic, with painful memories of millions of Africans dying in the decade it took for affordable anti-HIV drugs to become available on the continent.
In L’Europe , North Macedonia says it will ease border restrictions for visitors from four neighboring countries. Beginning October 12, visitors from Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina will no longer have to test negative for COVID-19 to be allowed entry, officials said on Tuesday.
Italy’s health minister said the government was considering a proposal to make masks mandatory outdoors, with the number of infections rising steadily over the past nine weeks. Roberto Speranza has said that as infections spread, there is a need to revert to restrictions that were gradually relaxed in the spring and summer after Italy’s strict lockdown of almost three months.
in the Americas, Argentina has the highest rate of positive tests in the world, according to the Oxford tracker Our World In Data, with nearly six in 10 reporting infection, reflecting low test levels and loose application of lock rules.
Argentina’s government was applauded for a difficult early blockade that began on March 20, but has since been forced to ease restrictions to help revive an economy already in recession for two years and as levels of poverty and unemployment increased.