Canada could hit 12-14K daily coronavirus cases in January, modelling shows

Should Canada continue on its current trajectory, the country could see between 12,000 to 14,000 daily coronavirus cases by January, according to new national public health modelling.

It emphasizes the need for all large provinces to strengthen their COVID-19 response, according to Theresa Tam, Canada’s top doctor.

“The resurgence of the COVID-19 epidemic in Canada shows the current daily case count far exceeds that of the first wave,” Tam said at a press conference on Friday.

“There’s little indication this upward trajectory would change without further intensified public health measures.”

Just yesterday, Canada’s death toll hit a new grim milestone — more than 13,000.

Cases have been rising in a number of provinces over the past few months. Outbreaks have also popped up in provinces and territories that once saw few to no cases daily.

Read more: Canada approves Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, will start administering ‘within days’

On Thursday, an additional 6,738 cases of COVID-19 were reported by health authorities, bringing Canada’s total number of infections to 441,705. To date, over 355,000 patients have recovered. More than 15.9 million tests have been performed.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor welcomes vaccine supply announcement, stresses following public health measures' 0:54 Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor welcomes vaccine supply announcement, stresses following public health measures

Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor welcomes vaccine supply announcement, stresses following public health measures

Meanwhile, Canada has received more positive news about vaccines.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that the government will foot the bill for COVID-19 vaccines, including the costs of supplies to administer them.

Doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Canada on Monday.

The government expects a limited rollout to begin to priority groups “within days” after arrival with vaccination of the general population slated to start in April.

Read more: Canadians should celebrate Christmas outdoors, virtually, experts say

Trudeau said distribution will be a “gradual process” that will flow through 14 identified sites across the country — one in each province and two in the four largest provinces. None of the early shipments are slated for the territories.

From there, the federal government will pass the baton to the provinces, many of which have already begun releasing tidbits of their timelines for vaccination. Ontario, for example, confirmed Thursday that health-care workers in Toronto and Ottawa would get the province’s first doses next Tuesday, while Alberta says it plans to distribute its first doses starting next Wednesday.

— with files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore and the Canadian Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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