Health officials are once again urging Canadians to avoid large gatherings as COVID-19 cases spike nationwide, and Ontario reported more than 1,000 new infections for the first time on Sunday.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, acknowledged in a statement on Sunday that although forgoing events like wedding and funerals is difficult, “now is not the time for hosting large in-person gatherings.”
“Right now, doing the best thing to keep our family, friends and community safer means keeping safely apart, connecting virtually and finding safer ways to care and support each other,” she said.
Tam’s comments come as Canada’s largest province set a single-day record for new coronavirus cases.
2/2 Over the past week, an average of over 74,719 people have been tested for <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> daily across Canada, with 3.1% of these people testing positive as <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/publichealth?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#publichealth</a> continues to <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/TestandTrace?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#TestandTrace</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/ZArmpJMAM3″>https://t.co/ZArmpJMAM3</a>
Ontario‘s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose by 1,042 on Sunday, hitting quadruple digits for new infections for the first time and shattering the previous record of 978 set just the day before.
In a statement to CBC News on Sunday, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said it’s likely that the increase is a result of Thanksgiving gatherings.
“We continue to urge all Ontarians to do their part and not let their guard down by continuing to limit close contact and practise the public health measures that we know work and keep us safe,” she said in the statement.
Elliott said health officials will continue to monitor the situation and take “swift action as needed” to limit the transmission of the virus.
Her comments come less than two weeks after Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, suggested the province’s COVID-19 cases may be “plateauing.”
WATCH | Ontario ‘moving in the wrong direction,’ says infectious disease specialist:
Sunday’s record number mirrors projections made by scientists and physicians last month, suggesting that Ontario’s second wave of COVID-19 would peak in mid- to late October and would exceed 1,000 new cases per day.
Ontario health officials released their own modelling projections two days later, predicting a similar surge in cases by mid-October.
What’s happening across Canada
As of 5:45 p.m. ET on Sunday, Canada had 216,104 confirmed or presumptive coronavirus cases. Provinces and territories listed 181,429 of those as recovered or resolved. A CBC News tally of deaths based on provincial reports, regional health information and CBC’s reporting rose to 9,946.
Saskatchewan reported 60 new cases on Sunday, and announced more cases connected to bars or nightclubs in Saskatoon.
Manitoba announced 161 new cases and four new deaths. The province has also said an outbreak at a Winnipeg hospital is growing, with 31 people — 22 patients and nine workers — now having tested positive.
Quebec added 879 new cases to its tally for a total 100,114 cases.
WATCH | Quebec surpasses 100K COVID-19 infections:
Newfoundland and Labrador reported a new case. The province’s Health Department said the case is a man who arrived in N.L. from Ontario after being granted a travel exemption. The department said the man is not a resident of the province.
Nova Scotia reported no new cases, a day after recording three.
New Brunswick officials confirmed the province’s fifth and sixth deaths related to COVID-19. The province also confirmed two new cases of the viral infection on Sunday. Four people are in the hospital, including one person who is in intensive care.
What’s happening around the world
According to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the global total of confirmed coronavirus cases stands at more than 42.7 million. More than 1.1 million people have died, while more than 28.8 million have recovered.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the pandemic “the greatest crisis of our age” and opened an online session of the World Health Summit on Sunday with a call for worldwide solidarity and demanded that developed countries support health systems in countries that are short of resources.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#COVID19</a> is the greatest challenge of our time. But we are not powerless.<br><br>We must persevere and confront this crisis together – following the science and demonstrating unity, solidarity, and integrity.<a href=”https://t.co/KCk8z8PMLf”>https://t.co/KCk8z8PMLf</a> <a href=”https://t.co/fxSdu1APp3″>pic.twitter.com/fxSdu1APp3</a>
In Asia, India’s daily coronavirus cases have dropped to 50,129, maintaining a downturn over the last few weeks. Last month, India hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but since then daily cases have fallen by about half and deaths by about a third. Some experts say the decline in cases suggests that the virus may have finally reached a plateau, but others question the testing methods.
China reported 20 new confirmed and 161 new asymptomatic COVID-19 cases on Sunday, the national health authority said on Monday, following a surge in symptomless infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region. All new confirmed cases were imported infections originating from overseas, officials said.
Australia’s Victoria state said on Monday local time it had gone 24 hours without detecting any new COVID-19 cases, a milestone last achieved four months ago, raising hopes that a stringent lockdown of Melbourne will be eased. Victoria, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of the 905 deaths in the country, did not record any new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.
In Europe, Italy’s one-day caseload of confirmed coronavirus infections jumped by 21,273 on Sunday, with more than a quarter of the new cases registered in Lombardy, the northern region that bore the brunt of the pandemic in the country earlier this year. Health Minister Roberto Speranza said the government’s latest crackdown on social freedoms — including closing restaurants in the early evening and shuttering gyms for the next 30 days — was warranted by the growth of the contagion curve worldwide, with a “very high wave” in all of Europe.
PHOTOS | Italy imposes curfews, closures amid COVID-19 surge:
In the Americas, Colombia reached one million confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday, its Health Ministry says. The nation of 50 million saw cases peak in August and has seen a decline since, but the country still continues to register about 8,000 new infections a day. Peru and Mexico are each expected to reach one million cases in the coming weeks.
In Africa, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune is in self-isolation for five days as a precautionary measure after coronavirus symptoms appeared amid several high-level officials at the presidency of the Republic and the prime minister’s office. Algeria has reported a total of 55,630 cases and 187 deaths.
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