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Canada needs to 'tighten up,' follow COVID-19 orders to get through pandemic: PM

Last Updated Nov 20, 2020 at 12:35 pm PDT

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives for a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime minister is asking Canadians to tighten up when it comes to public health restrictions in the weeks, months ahead

Justin Trudeau says social contacts need to be reduced to get to the other side of the pandemic

Modelling data shows Canada could see 60,000 daily COVID-19 cases if people expand social circles

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — After months of sacrifices, the prime minister is telling Canadians to take public health restrictions more seriously to help bring the COVID-19 infection rate down.

Justin Trudeau says now is the time for everyone to buckle down.

“We’ve all heard stories of people who have thrown up their hands and are not doing their part anymore — they’re people who stopped wearing masks, they’re people who are going out more than they should — and it’s tempting for all of us to say, ‘Okay, maybe I can loosen up a bit more too.’ But the reality is, we need to go in the opposite direction,” he says.

Federal modelling data released Friday suggests the country could see 60,000 new infections a day by the end of the year if Canadians increase their contact with people outside their household. The current average is about 4,800 a day.

While he acknowledges the challenges everyone is facing, Trudeau says reducing social contact is necessary to get to the other side of the pandemic.

“We’re in a moment right now, where even with all the sacrifices I know Canadians have been making over these past 10 months, we are now going to have to really tighten up once again,” he says. “We’re going to need to have to do this for another few weeks for another few months and we can begin to see the other side of this.”

Trudeau said Friday he’ll be working from home as much as possible.

Even with promising news on the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, wide-spread distribution is months down the line.

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Trudeau has said vaccine approval will be the beginning to the end, but not the end.

“We can see the end in sight. The light at the end of the tunnel is coming, but we have to really hang on for these next few months and do what is smart. Keep those distances, stop those gatherings, wear the mask,” he said Wednesday.

The modelling data also predicts that at current rates, Canada’s case total could land between 366,500 and 378,600 and the number of deaths could fall between 11,870 and 12,120 by the end of the month.

RELATED: B.C. premier calls for Canadian unified response to non-essential travel during pandemic

Meanwhile, in B.C., Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new COVID-19 restrictions that include instructing all British Columbians to only socialize with their immediate households and mandatory masks in retail and indoor public spaces. The measures were brought in to bend the curve back down in the province as the second wave of the virus puts strain to the health-care system.