COVID-19 in Canada: Trudeau says 'we're at a tipping point' amid latest modelling data, new government benefits

Canada's leading health officials issued an update on the country's latest model data projecting how COVID-19 will continue to spread across the country.
In Canada, up to 5,000 cases per day could occur from late October to early November if we maintain our current level of contact based on the model data just released.
"We are at a tipping point in this pandemic," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, noting that the country reported its most common daily cases on Thursday, with 2,437 new infections.
Canada could see up to 5,000 new cases a day by the end of October if we don't limit contacts
The latest model data from the Canadian Health Department shows there could be 188,150 to 197,830 cases in the country by Oct. 17, while the death toll is expected to rise to 9,690 to 9,800.
As of Thursday - after Canada had the most common cases in a day at 2,437 - there were a total of 175,559 diagnoses and 9,557 deaths. Federal data suggests the country will suffer at least 133 more deaths and 12,591 more cases by Oct. 17.
"The acceleration of epidemic growth is worrying," said Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada. "Actions by individual Canadians are now required to reverse this trend."
Model data also shows that Canada can see up to 5,000 cases per day from late October through early November if we keep our current contacts. If Canadians cut them by 25 to 35 percent, the data suggests we could see fewer than 3,000 cases a day by November.
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Tam said that in some regions of the country, people's individual actions were not enough to reduce transmission. As a result, as in areas such as Quebec and Ontario, additional measures have been taken, including strategic business closings to "curb the epidemic".
Tam said that by acting quickly and imposing restrictions, we have the best chance of limiting its spread and avoiding overloading the public health system.
"We are at an important point in the pandemic where we would very much like to see that the voluntary actions of Canadians across the country are enough to turn the corner," added Tam.
Tam, along with Trudeau and several other ministers, emphasized the importance of limiting contacts on this Thanksgiving weekend.
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Coupled with recent projections, the data showed how diverse the trends are in Canada, with most cases occurring in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta. In contrast, there has been no significant resurgence in the Atlantic Bubble, which consists of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Labrador. There has also been no community transfer in the areas.
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Canada's time-varying effective reproductive number (Rt) is how many people are infected by each new case. If it is less than 1, it means the "epidemic will die out". However, Canada's RT has been greater than 1 since August, meaning every 100 cases pass the virus on to 100 others.
"We have to limit our contacts and opportunities for the virus to spread and bring the RT back below one," said Tam.
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
The number of active cases is also increasing in First Nations communities, with most cases occurring in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
Although health officials have consistently observed the highest incidence of COVID-19 among 20- to 39-year-olds, they are now seeing a worrying increase in infections in people aged 80 and over, who are at the highest risk of serious and fatal side effects.
More outbreaks are also being reported nationwide. There were over 250 schools with more than two cases, but there was "little evidence of in-school transmission," Tam said. A growing problem is the increase in high-risk long-term care outbreaks.
"At the same time, a greater number of outbreaks related to private indoor gatherings have been reported, which several jurisdictions have found to be significant contributors to the spread of COVID-19," Tam said.
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
According to Tam, hospital stays and deaths are a lagging indicator of COVID-19 severity and are typically several weeks behind the increase in cases. For over two months, the nation observed an average of less than eight deaths a day. Over the past week, the average number of reported deaths has risen to 18 per day.
"There's a lot we can do now to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of Canadians," said Tam. "Let's act together and reduce the spread of the virus. Let's start today."
More funding for small business, mental health research
The modeling data were presented on Friday. At the same press conference, Trudeau, Treasury Secretary Chrystia Freeland and other ministers shared new economic benefits to help Canadians in the second wave of COVID-19.
Ministers unveiled Canada's new Emergency Rent Promotion Program, which will provide direct support to businesses through June 2021, when revenues have plummeted. In addition, the Canadian emergency wage subsidy has been extended to June 21.
The measures are designed to help those who may be affected by current and future public health closings in the second wave of the virus.
"This is the economically smart thing and it's the right thing," said Freeland.
Ministers also announced a $ 100 million investment to help food banks and community organizations. Under the Safe Restart Agreement, additional funds of $ 37 million will be made available to the Territories and an additional $ 41.4 million will be made available to airlines to ensure essential air services to remote communities in the north.
Also, to better understand how Canadians' mental health can be protected, the government announced it is investing over $ 10 million in research across the country.
For more information on the latest government benefits for business, see the latest news from Alicja Siekiersk of Yahoo Finance Canada.
Visit our COVID-19 Canada topic page for the latest news, tips, health updates, cases and more.

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