COVID-19 Update for November 20 2020 – 12:15pm

This morning, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam and Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo released updated modelling data for COVID-19.

Prime Minister Trudeau also held media availability this morning, opening by saying “I don’t want to be here right now. You don’t want me to be here right now.” He urged Canadians to listen to public health advice and warned that “we are going to have to really tighten up once again.”

He referenced the current modelling numbers and encouraged all orders of government to work together to stop the spread of COVID-19.

New COVID-19 Modelling Data

The newest modelling data from the country’s chief public health officers shows that “without sufficient reduction in contact rates”, Canada is on track to see 20,000 daily cases in the country by mid-December, according to Dr. Tam.

Over the past 7 days, there has been a daily average of 4,776 new cases in the country, the highest average of the pandemic thus far. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec are all showing ‘rapid growth’ according to the modelling data. More health regions are reporting higher rates of COVID-19 infection, with 48 health regions reporting 50 or more cases per 100,000 population. The average number of people who become infected by an infectious person, known as the Rt, has been greater than 1 in Canada since mid-August, demonstrating that the virus continues to spread quickly. The modelling data highlights how large outbreaks (over 50 infections linked through contact tracing) are growing in a variety of settings such as long-term care homes, schools and social gatherings. Indigenous communities are also seeing a rapid increase in daily infections. Hospitalizations are on the rise and anticipated to increase based on other countries’ experience.

The short-term forecast demonstrates that Canada will be on track to see 366,500 – 378,600 cumulative cases (currently there are 315,751, of which 252,294 are considered recovered) and 11,870 – 12,120 cumulative deaths (currently 11,265) by November 30. Dr. Tam underlined that the longer-range forecast demonstrates a need for a stronger response to slow the spread of COVID-19, and that every effort undertaken by Canadians will make a difference. While the news of the vaccine candidates is promising, Canadians still must “do what is needed” – limit outings, only socialize with individuals in a household and continue to follow public health measures.

Help for Indigenous Communities

Prime Minister Trudeau announced more than $120 million to Indigenous communities with outbreaks in Saskatchewan and Alberta, after last week’s help for Manitoba.

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