Rising coronavirus case counts a cause for concern, Tam says

Canada's chief public health officer says a steady increase in the average number of new coronavirus cases being reported daily is a cause for concern.

Average number of cases reported daily rose by 40 per cent in past two weeks

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam, shown arriving for a news conference in West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on June 1, says people will need to be even more vigilant about following public health guidance as the fall weather shifts activities indoors. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Canada's chief public health officer says a steady increase in the average number of new coronavirus cases being reported daily in the country is a cause for concern.

Dr. Theresa Tam said an average of 545 new cases have been reported during the past week, up from 435 on Aug. 31 and 390 on Aug. 24. The average daily case count has increased by 40 per cent over the same period.

"This summer, Canadians by-and-large followed public health guidance and as a result, nationally, Canada has been able to keep COVID-19 under manageable control, allowing us to carefully resume activities that are important to our social and economic wellbeing," Tam said in a statement on Monday.

"As we enter the fall, Canadians will need to be even more vigilant about following public health guidance, particularly as the cold weather shifts activities indoors."

Overall, in the last week, 3,955 people tested positive across Canada, and 28 people died of COVID-19.

That compares to 3,044 positive tests and 44 deaths in the week prior.

In total, there have been 131,895 cases of COVID-19 reported in Canada, including 9,145 deaths. Tam said 88.2 per cent of people have now recovered.  

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Tam said anyone thinking of attending an event or gathering — particularly indoor ones — should assess their own personal risk, the risk of those in their household or personal bubble and the location of the event before agreeing to attend.

People should ask if the host has made changes to the event location to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and if it's possible to step away if the event becomes too crowded, Tam said.

Tam said that anyone who has symptoms, even mild ones, should stay home and get tested.

"Taking these precautions will provide layers of protection to keep you and those you care about safe, while helping to keep COVID-19 on the slow burn in Canada," she said.

"Importantly, all of these efforts will help to support the front-line workers we need and value so much, and recognize on this Labour Day."


With files from the Canadian Press

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