On Sunday, Dr. Theresa Tam said she is hopeful about signs in B.C. that the spread of the disease has slowed, but said the next seven days will be critical
Canada has reported 6,280 cases of COVID-19, both presumed and confirmed, more than half of which are concentrated in Quebec and Ontario.
On Sunday, Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s chief public health officer, said she is hopeful about signs in B.C. that the spread of the disease has slowed, but said the next seven days will be critical for getting a true understanding of what kind of impact social distancing is having on Canada’s case load.
Here is a breakdown of the provincial and territorial updates so far:
Ontario reported another 211 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of cases to 1,355. It was the largest single-day spike in cases so far.
The province says two more people died from the virus, bringing the death toll to 21.
Two of the deaths have not been confirmed by a lab to be from COVID-19.
The province is still reporting that eight people have fully recovered from the virus.
Ontario continues to make progress on its backlog of tests and reported about 7,100 tests under investigation as of Sunday morning, compared to 8,700 on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, a First Nation in southern Ontario said it was erecting checkpoints at entrances and exits to its territory after confirming their first cases of COVID-19. The Six Nations of The Grand River said Sunday that two people on the reserve had tested positive and were self-isolating. Elected chief Mark Hill said the move to set up checkpoints represented a drastic step in their fight against COVID-19.
Premier François Legault said there were 2,840 cases of COVID-19 in the province on Sunday, which is an increase of 342 from the day before.
He noted that the percentage increase was smaller than in recent days, and that the number of people hospitalized, at 192, remains far below the capacity of 6,000. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 22. “We can see the daily increase in confirmed cases seems to be stabilizing,” he said. “Public health authorities tell us our efforts are paying off, so don’t give up.”
Horacio Arruda, the province’s director of public health, said the number of cases announced in recent days falls below what was originally projected, a possible indicator of the impact of aggressive physical distancing measures.
“Each day now, we have less than we thought we would have,” he said, while declining to share precise numbers.
Arruda repeatedly smacked the back of his own hand to demonstrate the concept of “flattening the curve” of new infections.
“The speed with which we’re increasing is spreading out, and the more we do that, the longer we’ll take to reach the plateau,” he said.
He explained that slowing the rate of transmission might mean that the province will take longer to reach a peak, but it would help ensure hospitals stay below capacity.
“I don’t want to choose who I’m going to keep on a respirator because I don’t have enough,” he said.
So far, 621 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the province, including two deaths.
On Friday, another federal prison in Alberta was closed after two medium security unit inmates were tested for COVID-19.
Correctional Services Canada said COVID-19 tests done earlier this month on a group of less then 10 inmates at Bowden Institution in central Alberta came back negative.
To date, no inmates in CSC facilities across the country have tested positive for the virus.
Saskatchewan reported 22 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the provincial total to 156 confirmed cases.
The province said five people are in hospital across the province, including two in intensive care units.
On Friday, the Ministry of Corrections and Policing said the two workers at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre have been told to self-isolate at home while public health officials trace their contacts.
A spokesman said no inmates had tested positive for COVID-19, but one unit was under quarantine due to what’s believed to be another illness.
Premier Scott Moe has also said the province is looking at options for how to handle provincial inmates during the pandemic, but nothing has been decided.
As of Sunday, the province has confirmed 884 cases and 17 deaths.
Tam noted “signs of hope” from British Columbia, where data indicates the province’s COVID-19 experience will likely resemble South Korea’s rather than brutally hit Italy.
Tam noted that B.C. was the first area of Canada to experience community transmission. “It is too early to know for sure, but after weeks of public health interventions, the rate of growth appears to be slowing,” she said.
She also warned this good news should not be taken as a sign that physical distancing and self-isolation measures should be relaxed.
“Our key message is to double down, absolutely double down,” Tam said.
Nova Scotia confirmed three workers at separate long-term care homes have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in two days.
The latest positive case involves a worker at the Magnolia residential care home in Enfield.
It is one of 12 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 announced Sunday by the province, bringing the total to 122.
New Brunswick’s public health officials announced a jump of 15 new cases on Sunday.
That brings the province’s total to 66.
The province declared a state of emergency on March 18, effectively banning gatherings of larger than 10 people, lounges, clubs, dine-ins at restaurants and unnecessary travel into the province.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Fifteen new cases were reported today, bringing the province’s confirmed count to 135.
On Saturday, health officials expressed concern of a possible community transmission of COVID-19 after a patient with no history of travel or exposure to a known cases was admitted to a hospital in St. Anthony.
Public health officials in Manitoba reported eight new probable cases of COVID-19 in the province.
It brings the province’s total number of cases to 25 confirmed — including one death —and 47 presumptive cases.
The number of confirmed cases in the Canadian territories remains low as of yet.
Yukon has reported four confirmed cases. Northwest Territories has confirmed one and so far no cases have been confirmed in Nunavut.
With files from the Canadian Press