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

For Owen Bains, having autism makes navigating the rules and social norms around COVID-19 challenging, says his mother. (Courtesy Nicole Zimmel)
Pandemic poses serious problems for children with autism, say Victoria parents

Parents of children with autism say COVID-19 is overwhelming and reducing social skills

Lacrosse player Patrick Dodds, 19, got his start playing for the Saanich Tigers in Braefoot Park and has now been drafted to the Calgary Roughnecks for the upcoming National Lacrosse League season. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Calgary Roughnecks draft young Saanich lacrosse star for coming NLL season

Going pro at 19 is ‘surreal,’ says Patrick Dodds

Nicole Abbott and her 10-month-old daughter, Ophelia, shown here at the Metchosin Fire Hall for the Halloween events last year. Residents are invited to a drive-through version this year. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore fire halls take pandemic-safe approach to Halloween

One spooky lane among three drive-thru features by firefighters

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Most Read