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Acceleration of COVID-19 cases across Canada concerning: country's top doctor

Last Updated Sep 22, 2020 at 11:18 am PST

FILE - Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Tam says a COVID-19 outbreak gripping the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche is an area of concern.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Summary

The acceleration of cases in several regions is concerning and people need to step up to slow the spread: Tam

The acceleration of cases in several regions is concerning and people need to step up to slow the spread

Provinces are looking to expand COVID-19 testing as many Canadians have to wait record long hours to be swabbed

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — The acceleration of cases in several regions is concerning and people need to step up to slow the spread, says Canada’s chief public officer of health.

Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday there has been an average of 838 new cases of COVID-19 reported daily over the past week. That’s up from Dr. Theresa Tam the average daily number of 545 new cases last week – which was a 25 per cent increase over the previous seven days.

“Multiple reported outbreaks have been linked to single gatherings, such as private social events and celebrations and community events held indoors,” she added.

READ ALSO: Tam urges caution as daily cases of COVID 19 rise 25 per cent in last week

“The acceleration in cases has occurred at a time when the weather has turned colder and Canadians have begun to move indoors for fall and winter.”

For now, Tam said public health authorities, along with testing and contact tracing are keeping spread under manageable control, but that could change quickly.

Provinces are also looking to expand COVID-19 testing as many Canadians have to wait record long hours to be swabbed or can’t get in for testing at all.

Tam said the federal government is working on bringing in new, faster testing methods, extending testing site hours to try to accommodate the demand.

“We need to augment the portfolio of testing capabilities in Canada, and I think that’s something we need to push hard at,” she said.

As of Tuesday, Canada had 138,278 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as well as 9,183 deaths.

Quebec has had the most cases, with 65,262 confirmed. Next is Ontario, with 45,068, followed by Alberta with 15,833, then B.C. at 7,279.

The recovery rate in Canada is 88 per cent.