Canada is experiencing a 25 percent increase in the daily rate of new COVID-19 cases from the previous week, the country’s top doctor said.
There was an average of 545 new COVID-19 cases reported daily last week, Dr. Theresa Tam said in a statement, up from 435 new daily cases during the last week of August, according to the Canadian Press. The week before that about 390 cases were recorded per day.
Quebec remains Canada’s COVID-19 hotspot, with 1,983 active cases. Alberta has the second highest number of active cases with 1,433. Ontario’s cases continue to creep up—the province recorded 185 new cases of the virus on Tuesday morning.
“The average daily case count has been increasing in recent weeks,” Tam said. “This is a concern and a reminder that we all need to maintain public health measures to keep COVID-19 on the slow-burn path.”
The rise in cases is happening as families get ready to send kids back to school across the country. Five schools in Ottawa and 46 schools in Quebec have already reported confirmed cases of COVID-19 as the school year begins.
Cold weather is also looming large, threatening outdoor activities that have allowed people to socialize while keeping the virus at bay.
“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,” Tam said.
Tam frequently reminds Canadians to take steps that prevent virus transmission, including practising physical distancing, washing hands frequently, getting the flu shot, and wearing masks. Anyone experiencing even mild symptoms should stay at home.
Tam said people who are considering attending indoor events should ask themselves if they or the people they live with are at high risk of developing serious COVID-19 complications; the event allows for people to maintain at least 2 metres distance from one other; and a 14-day quarantine period after the event would be manageable if a positive case of COVID-19 were reported.
Canada has confirmed a total of 132,142 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning with 9,146 deaths. About 88 percent of infected Canadians have recovered from the illness.
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