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Canada’s chief public health officer says sharp uptick in past week ‘troubling’

Canada’s chief public health officer called the sharp uptick in cases in the past week “troubling” and is urging Canadians to stay vigilant.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said labs across the country conducted an average of 71,000 test a day, with 2.5 per cent of them coming back positive. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The latest:

Canada’s chief public health officer called the sharp uptick in cases in the past week “troubling” and is urging Canadians to stay vigilant.

In a statement on Sunday, Dr. Theresa Tam said labs across the country conducted an average of 71,000 tests a day, with 2.5 per cent of them coming back positive.

“As difficult as it may be, we need to continue on the right path and recommit, for ourselves and our loved ones, to follow the public health practices that helped us flatten the curve in the spring,” said Tam.

She also encouraged Canadians to exercise caution and follow those guidelines when celebrating Thanksgiving this year.

2/5 Thanksgiving tables will be smaller & we will miss in-person gatherings. These sacrifices are important to protect ourselves, those we love and our communities. #AllinthisTogether


“While this year’s celebrations are very different, we can still be thankful for what we have, including the power as individuals to keep one another safe,” said Tam. 

“Let’s all do our part to flatten the curve together and for each other.”

What’s happening elsewhere in Canada

As of 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 181,772 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 152,206 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting stood at 9,612.

Manitoba reported 54 new cases on Sunday. Among those is a Winnipeg police officer, the province said.

Ontario reported 649 new cases on Sunday — 157 new cases in Peel Region, 140 in Toronto, 87 in York Region and 54 in Ottawa, Health Minister Christine Elliott said in a tweet.

In Quebec, health officials confirmed 942 new cases Sunday and three more deaths. As of Saturday, the province had reported more than 1,000 new infections for the eighth time in nine days.

Premier François Legault asked Quebecers to make sacrifices and avoid socializing over the long weekend as 433 more people landed in hospital — up eight patients from the day before, with 67 people in intensive care, one less than the day before.

People wear face masks as they shop for pumpkins at a market in Montreal on Sunday. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases on Sunday. However, the province’s chief medical officer of health released guidelines for residents travelling to parts of New Brunswick amid reported outbreaks in those areas.

Nova Scotia also reported no new cases on Sunday, and one recovery.

In New Brunswick, a Dalhousie elementary school is reporting a confirmed case of COVID-19, making it the third such case at a school in the province in recent days.

Prince Edward Island reported two new cases on Sunday that involved men who recently travelled within Canada but outside the Atlantic bubble. The two cases are not related, the province’s chief public health office said.

The Northwest Territories announced that travellers and employees will be required to wear a mask while inside the territory’s airport terminal buildings, starting next Tuesday.  

What’s happening around the world

According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 37.2 million. More than one million people have died, while more than 25.9 million have recovered.

Africa has seen more than 1.5 million confirmed cases and more than 37,000 deaths. The majority of the cases on the continent are in South Africa, which accounts for more than 688,000 cases.

India‘s confirmed coronavirus toll now exceeds seven million, and on Sunday the country reported another 74,383 cases. India is expected to become the pandemic’s worst-hit country in coming weeks, surpassing the U.S., where more than 7.7 million infections have been reported.

Italy was the site of two anti-mask protests on Saturday, even as the country undergoes a resurgence of coronavirus infections. The country’s Health Ministry reported another 5,724 cases and 29 deaths in the past 24 hours.

Protesters at one of the demonstrations complained about measures they call harsh, including a new order for all Italians to wear masks outdoors or face fines of up to 1,000 euros ($1,500 Cdn). Most of the new cases are in Lombardy in the north, which tallied 1,140 new infections, followed by Campania, which includes Naples, and Veneto.

A man is taken away by police during a protest in Rome on Saturday against government measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Andrew Medichini/The Associated Press)


Italy has reached nearly 350,000 confirmed cases and 36,140 deaths.

In England, revellers enjoyed a Saturday night out in London’s busy Soho district, ahead of new coronavirus restrictions to be announced Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Johnson is expected to back new restrictions that could see pubs and restaurants in coronavirus hot spots in northern England temporarily closed.

The U.K. has experienced Europe’s deadliest outbreak with more than 42,750 deaths.

In the United States, a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says coronavirus cases in Arizona dropped 75 per cent following the implementation of local mask mandates. The mandates were enacted in June after a sharp uptick in cases. 

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