In a Saturday statement, Dr Theresa Tam said that while the summer has seen cases concentrated in the 20-39 age group, infection rates are now accelerating in older populations.
Reports of outbreaks in long-term care and nursing homes have increased in recent weeks, but appear to be more contained than the rash of cases that overwhelmed several facilities in April and May, Tam said.
This is a disturbing trend given the increased health risks the virus poses to older Canadians, Tam said, warning that we have already seen how the spread in nursing homes can have deadly consequences.
“We all have a shared responsibility to help protect those most at risk,” Tam said in a statement. “When the spread of COVID-19 is kept at low levels in the community, it decreases the risk of exposure for older Canadians.
Meanwhile, some of the hardest-hit provinces are working to avoid such a worst-case scenario by introducing new restrictions to curb the surge in regional hot spots.
Ontario reported 809 new cases on Saturday, including 358 in Toronto, 123 in Peel Region and 94 in Ottawa.
The numbers come on the first day of new measures by the province to curb the steady rise in cases in these areas, including the closure of gyms, cinemas and casinos and the suspension of meals inside bars and restaurants.
The government has also reported seven new deaths linked to the virus. A total of 213 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19; 47 people are in intensive care and 29 on ventilators.
The photo was no nicer in Quebec, which reported another 1,097 new cases on Saturday – the sixth of the last seven days the province has passed 1,000 new cases.
Quebec has also reported 14 additional deaths. Hospitalizations increased from 11 to 444, and six more people were in intensive care, for a total of 73.
In response, the province decided to extend restrictions in almost all areas along the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and Quebec on Saturday evening.
Bars, restaurants and gymnasiums in the so-called “red zones” must be closed, sports are restricted and individuals are not allowed to meet in private homes with people outside their homes. a few exceptions.
In Manitoba, health officials have reported two more deaths from COVID-19, as well as 97 new cases.
The province said in its daily pandemic update on Saturday that two Winnipeg women – one in her 80s and another in her 90s – had died since the last update on Friday.
Public health officials have also reminded people that residents of personal care homes are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and any visit over Thanksgiving weekend should be planned with caution.
Even the Atlantic bubble appears to have been punctured by the second wave of the pandemic.
There were 20 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Saturday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 57.
The province’s chief medical officer of health said 12 of the new cases were in the Moncton area and seven in the Campbellton area. The two regions remain at the “orange” level of restrictions under the province’s COVID-19 plan.
Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia each reported three new cases on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 10, 2020.