Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic outside his residence at Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

COVID-19 models show Canada is moving ‘in the right direction’: feds

Cases, hospitalizations, cases on the way down, prime minister says

Canada is moving “in the right direction” when it comes to its fight against COVID-19, Prime Minister Trudeau said during a press conference at Rideau Cottage Monday (June 29).

Trudeau said the progress comes as a result of Canadians listening to public health directions and that despite “some hotspots, nationally, the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths is declining over time.”

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Canada has had 103,250 cases so far, with 64 per cent of those having recovered. More than 2.6 million people have been tested so far, with currently about one per cent testing positive, down from a high of eight per cent positive in April.

As of Monday, 8,522 people have died due to the virus – about eight per cent mortality rate based on known test positive cases. Hotspots in Quebec and Ontario have made up 86 per cent of the total cases.

Tam said that of the cases so far, 15 per cent have needed hospitalization and just over three per cent have required intensive care.

Canada’s effective reproduction number (Rt), or how many people are infected by each case, has been below one for more than eight weeks.

“The epidemiology indicates that transmission is largely under control while showing us that cases can reemerge at any time or place,” Tam said.

READ MORE: Caught in U.S. COVID-19 surge, Canadian ex-pats hunker down, spare a thought for home

The median age of COVID-19 cases is 51, with 56 per cent of those diagnosed being female and 44 per cent being male.

The modelling showed that cases among people aged 80 and older have declined sharply, although there has been a “relative increase” in cases among 20 to 39 years olds since late May.

Speaking to B.C.’s numbers, Tam said transmission of the virus was “largely brought under control,” despite some localized outbreaks.

“COVID-19 has exploited social and economic vulnerabilities and inequalities across Canadian society, taking hold in settings and among communities that experience overcrowding, lower incomes and health disparities,” she said.

Federal data showed 1,052 outbreaks in long-term care and seniors’ homes, leading 20,604 cases and 6,920 deaths. Meat and poultry plants saw 13 outbreaks with 2,025 cases and six deaths, while correctional facilities had 26 outbreaks, 818 cases and five deaths. Hospitals, with vulnerable patients, saw 124 outbreaks lead to 1,644 cases and 184 deaths. Outbreaks have also been recorded in agricultural workers, workplaces including those that house their workers onsite and shelter.

Tam said as provinces begin to reopen, events and gatherings such as funerals and indoor family gatherings could also lead to outbreaks.

“Dynamic models are telling us that if relax too much, or too soon, the epidemic will most likely rebound with explosive growth as a distinct possibility,” she said. In order to maintain a balance of loosening restrictions that had closed schools, restaurants and shops in much of Canada for weeks if not months, health officials will have to trace and quarantine cases and contacts, as well as insist on the public keeping up sanitization practices and physical distancing.

Looking into the weeks and months ahead, Tam said the goal was to have less than 10 per cent of Canada’s population, or about 3.7 million people, infected by the end of the pandemic.

However, while federal health officials have moved to recommending masks in mid-May, deputy chief medical officer Dr. Howard Njoo said that making them mandatory was the last resort.

“It’s much better to have an empowered, educated population that understands the utility, usefulness, the effectiveness of using masks than right away going to… the regulatory approach,” Njoo said.

“For some people, it may even get their backs up if you made it mandatory right off the bat. Some people… may resist that.”

READ MORE: Threats, racism being directed at COVID-19 checkpoint staff: Remote B.C. First Nation


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusJustin Trudeau

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Surrey Minor Football players in action. The club is among Surrey-area recipients of the B.C. government’s Local Sport Relief Fund. (File photo)
COVID ‘relief’ funding for some sports groups in Surrey, White Rock, Delta

‘Without financial support, these clubs are at risk of closure,’ says B.C. government

Protesters gather on Surrey residential street. (File photo, submitted)
UPDATE: Besieged Surrey neighbourhood liberated from marathon protest

Residents glad protesters have moved on but worried they might return

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, charged in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is to return to court Feb. 2, 2021. (Canadian Press/File photo)
Pre-trial conference set for accused in 2017 South Surrey killing

Brandon Nathan Teixeira set to return to Vancouver court Feb. 2

The City of Surrey is seeking public input on its walking routes, including Semiahmoo Trail. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Surrey seeks input from seniors on city’s walking routes

Online survey is part of city’s Age Friendly Strategy

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Most Read