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Canada's COVID-19 caseload surpasses 100,000

Last Updated Jun 18, 2020 at 9:02 am PDT

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. THE CANADIAN PRESS/CDC via AP, File

Canada has officially recorded more than 10,000 cases of COVID-19

173 new cases of COVID-19 in Ontario on Thursday pushed Canada past 10,000

More than 5,300 people have died from COVID-19 in Canada

TORONTO — Canada has officially recorded more than 100,000 cases of COVID-19 across the country.

The 173 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Thursday in Ontario, one of two provinces at the epicentre of the outbreak, pushed the overall tally past the grim milestone.

Such a figure seemed incomprehensible six months ago when public health officials greeted word of the country’s first COVID-19 case with repeated assurances that the risk of contracting the virus was low.

That message shifted dramatically in mid-March as cases were reported across the country, prompting widespread shutdowns meant to help flatten the curb of the pandemic.

Public health experts say those measures were largely successful, citing the fact that the country’s various health-care systems were able to handle the influx of cases without becoming overwhelmed.

But they say the 100,000 cases and more than 5,300 deaths, largely concentrated in the country’s long-term care facilities, also suggest Canada missed out on some crucial opportunities to limit the virus’ impact early on.