Canada’s public health official raised hopes on Friday that the fun of summer and fall recess may be ahead as she rolled out a plan on how the vaccination campaign might come out the country of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Dr Theresa Tam said Canada may have ‘passed the peak’ of wave three, with the average daily number of COVID-19 cases falling to less than 7,000 for the first time since April.
There has also been a decline in serious illness, with an average of less than 4,000 COVID-19 patients treated each day in the hospital, she said.
Tam touted “great strides” in the fact that about 50 percent of adults have at least one dose of the vaccine, suggesting that keeping up that pace could pay off in the form of “a summer in the great outdoors. brings us back to many activities that we disappeared. “
This could include small outdoor gatherings with family and friends in warmer weather, such as picnics in the park, outdoor sports, and patio dining, Tam said.
For this to happen, at least 75% of adults must receive at least one vaccine, including 20% who have both doses, according to federal modeling. Tam said the first vaccination target was “in sight”.
The next step will be to fully immunize at least 75% of eligible adults to allow for more indoor activity this fall, including in-person college learning, a return to the office, and holiday celebrations in multiple households. , she said.
“To make it this best summer and fall, we must continue to do whatever we can to protect ourselves and our communities, take the pressure off the health care system and help end this pandemic,” Tam said.
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand said Canada can expect to receive 4.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna ahead of the May Day weekend. Queen.
Anand said Pfizer has increased its schedule to deliver two million doses early next week and that 1.4 million more are expected to arrive on Thursday and Friday. Moderna is also expected to send 1.1 million doses next week, she said.
As vaccine rollout accelerates, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said the national timeline for easing restrictions is “realistic”, but these targets must be tailored to local epidemiological conditions.
“It gives Canadians a vision of what it looks like as we move forward together on this vaccination path,” Hajdu said. “It helps provide this guideline to Canadians as they embark on their own community’s journey with immunization.”
The optimistic tone at the federal level was at odds with the gloomy forecast from Manitoba, where a senior health official predicted on Friday that COVID-19 numbers would worsen for at least a week before dropping.
Dr Jazz Atwal, deputy director of public health, said the current rise in cases and hospitalization rates has been compounded by too many people congregating and interacting with others, despite health orders. that have been tightened three times in the past month.
The province reported 491 new infections on Friday after setting a daily record of 560 cases on Thursday.
Manitoba was just behind Alberta, which continued to have the highest infection rate in the country. Alberta has reported 1,433 new cases and five additional deaths.
Meanwhile, Nunavut health officials berated scoffers in Iqaluit on Friday, warning that unauthorized gatherings could dash the city’s hopes for the summer.
Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr Michael Patterson said a recent multi-household gathering resulted in infections among children. Public health measures currently limit all indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Twelve more cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Iqaluit, bringing the city’s active total to 78.
“It’s been a very short summer and it seems to be getting shorter by the day,” said Nunavut Health Minister Lorne Kusugak.
Ontario reported 2,362 new infections on Friday, continuing a downward trend from April’s series of daily counts of 4,000 cases.
There have been 26 other deaths from the virus, according to the province. Officials said 1,582 COVID-19 patients were in hospital, including 777 people in intensive care.
Quebec kept its number of cases below 1,000 on Friday, reporting 838 diagnoses and eight other deaths. The province said there had been 530 hospitalizations and 123 intensive care cases.
Saskatchewan has reported 227 new cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths. The province also confirmed a case of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), or blood clots, in a woman who received the AstraZeneca vaccine in April.
The number of cases in British Columbia fell to 494 on Friday, the first time infections have fallen below 500 since March. There were two more deaths.
On the East Coast, Nova Scotia has reported 117 new cases and one death linked to the virus, a court-ordered injunction that blocked a pair of anti-mask rallies planned in the Halifax area this weekend.
Health officials in New Brunswick said there were five new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, while Prince Edward Island reported two new infections and Newfoundland and Labrador reported two new infections. Labrador has confirmed six more cases.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 14, 2021.
Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press