Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Top doctor says ‘upswing’ in Western Canada’s COVID cases is pushing the curve upwards

B.C., Alberta, both seeing cases of the novel coronavirus increase

Canada’s top doctor said she is concerned about a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country in recent weeks.

Dr. Theresa Tam said Tuesday (July 28) the rolling daily average of COVID-19 cases in Canada has risen from 487 cases last week to 496 cases currently.

Tam said the increase was “something we must keep a very close eye on,” but stressed that Canadians must do their part by limiting social interactions.

“The fate of the flattening of the curve is still within each of our hands. If we don’t follow public health measures – have giant parties, crowds, not observing physical distancing or masking or hand hygiene in certain environments – then you are going to see this uptick.”

The increase in cases comes as Canada ha reached 114,597 cases and 8,901 deaths, with 87 per cent of patients having recovered. Many areas of the country are several weeks into a post-COVID reopening, including B.C., which entered Phase 3 last month.

“With an upswing being seen in some of the western provinces, the national curve does have an upward direction to it,” Tam said.

British Columbia has seen daily case counts in the high 20s and low 30s in recent weeks, with provincial officials expressing concerns about large gatherings linked to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Alberta has also seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, with its provincial health officer saying the surge needs to be a “wake-up call” for Albertans.

READ MORE: B.C. records 81 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. since Friday

READ MORE: Health Canada approves remdesivir for treatment of severe COVID-19


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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