Canada’s high physician warned provinces in opposition to easing stringent public well being measures Saturday, simply because the premier of one of many provinces hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic stated he hoped to do precisely that in somewhat over per week.
Chief Public Well being Officer Dr. Theresa Tam stated that despite the fact that every day circumstances of the novel coronavirus are trending down, it’s nonetheless too quickly to raise lockdowns and ease different protecting measures if the nation hopes to convey the pandemic beneath management.
“It’s essential that robust measures are saved in place with a purpose to keep a gradual downward pattern,” Tam stated in a information launch. “With nonetheless elevated every day case counts and excessive charges of an infection throughout all age teams, the chance stays that developments might reverse rapidly and a few areas of the nation are seeing elevated exercise.”
She pointed to a number of regarding variants of the virus as proof that it’s too quickly for the provinces to let their guards down.
One such pressure, which was first detected in the UK and has already been cited as the reason for a lethal long-term care outbreak in southern Ontario, is extra contagious than different strains of the virus and has begun to unfold in Canada.
Besides, Quebec Premier Francois Legault took to Fb on Saturday to say he was planning to unveil adjustments to the province’s present public well being protocols on Tuesday afternoon.
“I would love, if the state of affairs permits, to have the ability to give some oxygen to retail shops,” Legault wrote.
The premier stated the adjustments would come into impact after Feb. 8, the day a province-wide curfew is scheduled to finish.
Companies designated “non-essential” have been closed throughout Quebec since Dec. 25, and the province has been beneath an 8 p.m. to five a.m. curfew since Jan. 9.
On the day the curfew went into impact, Quebec reported a median of two,685 new circumstances over the newest seven-day stretch.
The province logged 1,367 new circumstances of the virus and counted 46 extra deaths on Saturday. Officers stated 14 of these deaths passed off within the earlier 24 hours, and the remainder occurred earlier.
Tam warned that outbreaks are nonetheless taking place in high-risk communities, together with in First Nations and distant elements of the nation.
That was the case in Ontario, the place a public well being physician referred to as a small spike in COVID-19 circumstances within the distant northwestern a part of the province a “wake-up name” for the world.
Dr. John Guilfoyle with the Sioux Lookout First Nations Well being Authority stated Saturday that eight complete lively circumstances not too long ago detected throughout 5 First Nations communities — Poplar Hill, Webequie, Pikangikum, Lac Seul and Nibinamik — seem to have been contained, in response to contact tracing and testing to date.
He characterised the containment is nice information, however stated it’s regarding to see so many communities recording new infections.
Throughout Ontario, public well being officers reported 2,063 new circumstances of COVID-19 on Saturday, together with 73 extra deaths.
Farther west, Manitoba counted 166 new circumstances of COVID-19 on Saturday, in addition to two extra deaths.
Saskatchewan, in the meantime, logged 258 new circumstances with eight extra deaths.
In Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia recorded three new circumstances of the virus and New Brunswick added 12.
New Brunswick additionally noticed one COVID-19 affected person die — the 18th within the province for the reason that pandemic started.
As for the brand new circumstances, greater than half of them had been reported within the Edmundston space of northern New Brunswick, which is at present within the midst of a full lockdown.
The variety of confirmed circumstances in New Brunswick has risen to 1,230 for the reason that starting of the pandemic, by far the best tally in Atlantic Canada. That determine consists of 928 recoveries and 283 lively circumstances.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Jan. 30, 2021.
Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press