Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief public health officer calls for continued ‘collective effort’ against COVID-19

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases

Canada’s chief public health officer is urging residents to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as parts of the country face new rounds of restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam has issued a statement acknowledging that as each part of the country experiences the pandemic differently, it can lead to uncertainty about what action is needed.

But she stresses that Canadians must “keep our number of in-person close contacts low” and adhere to public health practices.

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases, with 196,288 confirmed cases reported today across the country.

Canada has also recorded 9,746 deaths related to the virus.

On Friday the Manitoba government announced it will impose increased COVID-19 restrictions in Winnipeg on Monday, while the Ontario government plans to do the same in York Region, north of Toronto.

Restrictions limiting visitors at long-term care homes in the region also took effect as of Saturday, the Ontario government said.

“There are no quick fixes and COVID-19 is not going away, so public health is focused on making the response sustainable through to the end of the pandemic, balancing the health, social and economic consequences,” Tam said Saturday in a news release.

“What is certain, is that our response requires a collective effort. Everyone’s actions matter.”

READ MORE: 155 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded in B.C.

Manitoba reported 85 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, for a total of 3,258, with 1,572 considered recovered and 38 deaths.

With cases spiking there, the province is imposing new restrictions in the greater Winnipeg area, starting Monday and lasting for two weeks.

The new rules in Winnipeg limit gatherings of people to five, and state that beverage rooms, bingo halls and casinos must close. Meanwhile, restaurants, lounges, retail stores, museums and libraries will be limited to half capacity.

In Ontario, which reported 805 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths related to the virus Saturday, another Toronto-area public health unit has imposed tighter restrictions on local long-term care homes.

The new ban on all but essential visitors and caregivers is in effect in York Region, which is facing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Monday, York Region will also join the province’s other three COVID-19 hot spots in moving back to a modified Stage 2 of pandemic protocol for 28 days.

Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were placed under similar restrictions amid rising cases a week ago.

The modified Stage 2 includes the closure of gyms and movie theatres, a ban on indoor dining in restaurants or bars, and a cap on public gatherings at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Ontario now has a total of 63,713 cases of COVID-19, including 54,686 that are considered resolved and 3,041 deaths.

With different approaches across the country while schools and some businesses remain open, the situation is “complicated” and challenging for individuals, families and public health authorities, Tam said.

But we need to remember that every person we encounter “brings with them a whole network of contacts,” she added.

“So, as much as you can, I urge you to reduce encounters with people outside of your consistent, trusted close contacts,” Tam said.

“I especially urge you to avoid these encounters in crowded and closed settings with limited ventilation. Keeping apart is difficult, but it is what will make us stronger, more resilient and better able to sustain public health efforts through the fall and winter.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Emily Harris (centre) started the in-person Monarch Moms meet-up groups in July, when it was much easier to physical distance in outdoor spaces. Harris started the group as a source of connection for women navigating the ups and downs of having a baby during a pandemic. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria new mom group navigates challenges of motherhood in a pandemic

Monarch Moms meet once a week for physically-distanced connection

Joanne Smith has been visiting Goldstream Provincial Park since she moved to Langford two years ago. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Visitors flock to Goldstream Provincial Park for 2020 salmon run

‘I wanted to come here before I move back to Australia,’ says visitor

The Takaya inspired sculpture currently in Kent Laforme’s outdoor studio. The 25,000-pound piece of Vancouver Island marble could be installed on Cattle Point. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Stone Takaya sculpture could soon ‘howl’ at Cattle Point

Oak Bay inviting public suggestions for 25,000-pound marble sculpture

Royal Bay students are among the list of SD62 schools that will be trained by Pacific FC coaches and staff in a new soccer academy partnership. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Pacific FC partners with Sooke School District soccer academies

Royal Bay, EMCS and Dunsmuir Middle students to receive professional training

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Reader’s Lens
Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking toward the Salty Towers dock and East Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens Richard Ashton took this picturesque scene from Whiffin Spit looking… Continue reading

Most Read