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Trudeau says ‘we’re at a tipping point’ amid latest modelling data, new government benefits

Canada’s top health officials provided an update on the nation’s latest modelling data, which projects how COVID-19 will continue to spread throughout the country. 

Canada could see up to 5,000 cases a day by late October to early November if we maintain our current levels of contacts, according to just-released modelling data.

“We’re at a tipping point in this pandemic,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, noting the country reported its most-ever daily cases on Thursday with 2,437 new infections.

Canada could see up to 5,000 new cases a day by late October if we don’t limit contacts

The latest modelling data by Public Health Agency of Canada shows that by Oct. 17, there could be 188,150-197,830 cases in the country, while the death toll is expected to increase to 9,690-9,800.

On Thursday — after Canada recorded its most-ever cases in a day with 2,437 — there were 175,559 total diagnoses and 9,557 deaths. Federal data projects that the country will see at least 133 additional fatalities and 12,591 more cases by Oct. 17.

“The acceleration of epidemic growth is concerning,” Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam said. “The actions of individual Canadians are needed now to reverse this trend.”

Modelling data also shows that Canada may see up to 5,000 cases a day by late October to early November if we maintain our current levels of contacts. If Canadians decrease them by 25-35 per cent, we could see fewer than 3,000 cases a day by November, according to the data.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Tam said that the individual actions of people in some areas of the country have not been enough to decrease transmission. Therefore, such as in areas like Quebec and Ontario, additional measures have been in place, including strategic business closures in “order to put the brakes on the epidemic.”

Tam said that by acting fast and imposing restrictions, we have the best chance of limiting the spread and avoiding the public health system being overburdened.

“We are at an important juncture in the pandemic where we would very much like to see the voluntary actions of Canadians across the country be sufficient to bend the curve downward,” Tam added.

Tam, along with Trudeau and several other ministers, stressed the importance of limiting contacts this Thanksgiving weekend.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Along with the recent projections, the data showed how that across Canada trends vary, with the highest increase in cases occurring in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta. In contrast, there hasn’t been a significant resurgence in cases in the Atlantic bubble, which consists of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. There also hasn’t been any community transmission in the territories.

Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada
Credit: Public Health Agency of Canada

Canada’s time-varying effective reproduction number (Rt), represents how many people are being infected by each new case. When it’s less than 1, it means that the “epidemic will die out.” However, Canada’s RT has been greater than