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Canada could see 10,000 more COVID-19 cases in next week: Dr. Tam

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 1:17 pm MDT

Summary

Canada is on track to record as many as 10,000 more cases of COVID-19 by next Friday: Dr. Tam


People aged 20-39 remain the demographic contracting the virus the most


This surge could overwhelm our health system capacity, Tam says


OTTAWA — Canada is on track to record as many as 10,000 more cases of COVID-19 by next Friday, according to the latest federal modelling data.

“Because daily reported cases will always lag behind transmission by one to two weeks, we will only learn about the spread that is happening now another one to two weeks in the future,” Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday.

“This is why our actions, right now, are what matters for keeping epidemic growth on the control.”

People aged 20 to 39 remain the demographic contracting the virus the most, she added.

While Tam said COVID-19 tends to lead to mild illness for younger people, the circulation of the virus among young people builds a reservoir for the virus.

The data was presented as every province west of the Atlantic travel bubble has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases.

Tam said if Canadians stay on the current path or let their guards down, there will likely be a massive spike in cases over the next couple of months.

“This surge could overwhelm our health system capacity and significantly impact social and economic systems as well,” she added.

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But if public health measures are strengthened and Canadians take more personal protective measures and limit contact with others, Tam said the curve will flatten out this fall.

“If we maintain our current rates of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to come back. If we increase our current ratio contacts, the epidemic is forecast to come back faster and stronger. But if we decrease our current rate of contacts, the epidemic is forecast to come back under control and most locations,” Tam said.

The latest modelling data also showed the deaths from COVID-19 remain low and under control, she added.

As of Tuesday morning, Canada had 146,406 confirmed cases of COVID-19 overall, along with 9,232 deaths, while 126,234 have recovered.