Hundreds more COVID deaths expected but Trudeau says Canada is making progress

Canada’s case rate is now doubling every 16 days rather than three to five days

TORONTO — Thousands more people are expected to contract COVID-19 and hundreds will likely die in the coming week, according to government projections, despite the progress the country has made in fighting the pandemic.

Canada’s case rate is now doubling every 16 days rather than three to five days seen about three weeks ago, Dr. Theresa Tam, the country’s top public health officer, said on Thursday.

Outbreaks in long-term care and senior homes have been driving the epidemic and are responsible for the vast majority of deaths, Tam said. While adults over the age of 60 accounted for 95 per cent of the more than 2,700 deaths, Tam warned no one was immune.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also warned caution remained the watchword when it comes to lifting restrictions that have devastated the economy.

“The measures we’ve taken so far are working. In many parts of the country, the curve has flattened,” Trudeau said at his daily briefing. “(But) if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made.”

As provinces release their outlines or plans for getting their people on the road to normalcy, the prime minister said the federal government would also be releasing its framework for easing up on the restrictions. However, he said it’s imperative to have a co-ordinated and consistent approach “grounded in shared understanding and appreciation” of the threats we face.

Getting the country moving, he said, won’t be an overnight process. Among other things, it will depend on capacity for testing and tracing coronavirus infections and ensuring that workers are safe on the job.

“Controlling transmission is key,” he said. “Restarting our economy will be gradual and careful and will be guided by science.”

Canada is closing in on 50,000 known cases — Quebec and Ontario have accounted for 80 per cent of all confirmed cases. More than 2,700 have been fatal.

Ontario, in its latest report, snapped a three-day string of declining new cases as another 59 more people died. The province is now approaching 1,000 deaths.

Quebec, which has been hit hardest by the epidemic, has set May 11 for reopening schools and daycares, although attendance would be voluntary. High schools, junior colleges and universities are to remain closed until September. Ontario has drawn up a gradual reopening framework but has given no dates or schedule, other than that schools will stay closed until at least the end of May.

While work continues in Canada and around the world on finding a COVID-19 vaccine, a new Leger poll for the Association for Canadian Studies finds 60 per cent of Canadians believe inoculation once available should be mandatory, while the rest think it should be voluntary.

Trudeau said it was far too early to discuss the issue of whether everyone should have to get a shot.

“We are still unfortunately a long way from having a vaccine,” Trudeau said. “As far as the protocols are concerned, we still have a fair bit of time to reflect on that.”

As COVID-19 continues to spread in the country’s prisons, more than three dozen organizations demanded an immediate inquest into the April 15th death of a B.C. inmate due to the disease. The unnamed man died at Mission Institution east of Vancouver, where more than 100 inmates have tested positive. At least 249 federal inmates are known to be infected.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

Ma & Paws Pet Supplies. Facebook/ Ma & Paws Pet Supplies.
Rimbey residents petition for dog park

Request for approval of dog park will be brought up at Tuesday Oct. 27 Town Council meeting.

The future site of the Rimbey Travel Centre. Web photo
New Rimbey development aims to capitalize on highway traffic

Phase I of the Rimbey Travel Centre would be along Hwy. 20, if approved

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

soup
Rimbey FCSS to introduce the Cultural Community Kitchen

The Cultural Community Kitchen sessions will be held at the Rimbey Co-op

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read