Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam takes part during a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. As parts of Canada face a new round of COVID-19-related restrictions, Canada’s chief public health officer is urging Canadians to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the pandemic.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Chief public health officer calls for continued ‘collective effort’ against COVID-19

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases

Canada’s chief public health officer is urging residents to continue making a “collective effort” to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic as parts of the country face new rounds of restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.

Dr. Theresa Tam has issued a statement acknowledging that as each part of the country experiences the pandemic differently, it can lead to uncertainty about what action is needed.

But she stresses that Canadians must “keep our number of in-person close contacts low” and adhere to public health practices.

Canada continues to climb toward the 200,000 mark for COVID-19 cases, with 196,288 confirmed cases reported today across the country.

Canada has also recorded 9,746 deaths related to the virus.

On Friday the Manitoba government announced it will impose increased COVID-19 restrictions in Winnipeg on Monday, while the Ontario government plans to do the same in York Region, north of Toronto.

Restrictions limiting visitors at long-term care homes in the region also took effect as of Saturday, the Ontario government said.

“There are no quick fixes and COVID-19 is not going away, so public health is focused on making the response sustainable through to the end of the pandemic, balancing the health, social and economic consequences,” Tam said Saturday in a news release.

“What is certain, is that our response requires a collective effort. Everyone’s actions matter.”

READ MORE: 155 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded in B.C.

Manitoba reported 85 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, for a total of 3,258, with 1,572 considered recovered and 38 deaths.

With cases spiking there, the province is imposing new restrictions in the greater Winnipeg area, starting Monday and lasting for two weeks.

The new rules in Winnipeg limit gatherings of people to five, and state that beverage rooms, bingo halls and casinos must close. Meanwhile, restaurants, lounges, retail stores, museums and libraries will be limited to half capacity.

In Ontario, which reported 805 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 new deaths related to the virus Saturday, another Toronto-area public health unit has imposed tighter restrictions on local long-term care homes.

The new ban on all but essential visitors and caregivers is in effect in York Region, which is facing an upward trend in COVID-19 cases.

Starting Monday, York Region will also join the province’s other three COVID-19 hot spots in moving back to a modified Stage 2 of pandemic protocol for 28 days.

Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were placed under similar restrictions amid rising cases a week ago.

The modified Stage 2 includes the closure of gyms and movie theatres, a ban on indoor dining in restaurants or bars, and a cap on public gatherings at 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors.

Ontario now has a total of 63,713 cases of COVID-19, including 54,686 that are considered resolved and 3,041 deaths.

With different approaches across the country while schools and some businesses remain open, the situation is “complicated” and challenging for individuals, families and public health authorities, Tam said.

But we need to remember that every person we encounter “brings with them a whole network of contacts,” she added.

“So, as much as you can, I urge you to reduce encounters with people outside of your consistent, trusted close contacts,” Tam said.

“I especially urge you to avoid these encounters in crowded and closed settings with limited ventilation. Keeping apart is difficult, but it is what will make us stronger, more resilient and better able to sustain public health efforts through the fall and winter.”

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Kim Burden, executive director of the Parksville and District and Qualicum Beach Chambers of Commerce. (PQB News photo)
PQBeat: Chamber of Commerce executive director Kim Burden looks ahead

Podcast: Talk includes 2021 business plans in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, events and more

The Village Way and Highway 19A roundabout is the Town of Qualicum Beach priority for a grant application. (Google Map)
Qualicum Beach council favours roundabout over turf field project

Mayor believes road project has better chance of landing grant

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read