The national COVID-19 death toll rose by five on Sunday, while the country’s top doctor urged Canadians to continue to protect themselves as the pandemic wears on.
Since late January, 113,866 cases of the novel coronavirus have been diagnosed in Canada, 349 of which were newly confirmed on Sunday. A total of 8,890 people have succumbed to the illness, according to figures provided by health authorities.
But the vast majority of those infected — more than 99,000 people — have recovered. Across the country, 4.4 million tests have been conducted.
Figures released on Sunday are not a complete daily snapshot, however. Many regions — B.C., Alberta, P.E.I. and all three territories — are not releasing updates on weekends.
Ontario added 137 cases on Sunday for an overall total of 38,680. The death toll stands at 2,763 after four additional deaths were confirmed. In Quebec, one person died and there were 169 additional diagnoses, bringing the totals to 58,583 cases and 5,667 fatalities.
Officials in Saskatchewan announced 42 new cases of the virus on Sunday, bringing the overall case count to 1,178. Sixteen deaths have been attributed to the virus in that province.
Manitoba has 371 confirmed cases as of Friday. The province announced four cases on Saturday, and six more on Sunday, but they are not yet reflected in Global News’ tally of lab-confirmed cases because the province has yet to indicate if the diagnoses are presumptive or confirmed through testing.
Other than the 371 previously announced cases, plus the 10 announced on the weekend, there are also 13 presumptive cases that have been recorded in Manitoba. Seven coronavirus patients have died.
One new COVID-19 case was announced in Newfoundland and Labrador, which health authorities said was a close contact of someone previously diagnosed. That province has had 266 cases overall, along with three deaths.
In the Maritimes, no new cases were identified over the weekend. Nova Scotia has had 1,067 diagnoses and 63 deaths while New Brunswick has had 170 cases and two deaths.
P.E.I.’s total — last updated on Friday — stands at 36 cases, 34 of which have recovered.
On Friday, B.C.’s total stood at 3,397 cases — plus another 22 considered epidemiologically linked — and 191 deaths, while Alberta had 10,086 cases and 178 fatalities.
Throughout the territories, there were only a handful of active cases as of Friday. Yukon has had 14 cases, 11 of which are recovered. Five cases diagnosed in Northwest Territories have long since been resolved and Nunavut has yet to confirm a case of the virus.
In a statement Sunday, Canada’s chief public health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said just one per cent of those tested in the last week were positive. But she expressed concern over COVID-19 transmission among young people — 63 per cent of those diagnosed in that time frame were under 39 years old, she said.
“Our public health objective remains to minimize severe illness and overall deaths during this pandemic. To achieve this, Canadians must continue to take steps to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus and spread of the infection to others, particularly vulnerable individuals,” she said.
“In addition to limiting our contacts to a small and consistent social circle, assessing your risks, taking everyday personal hygiene precautions and avoiding high-risk settings and activities will help prevent spread of the virus.”
It’s been nearly 20 weeks since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Around the world, the number of new cases recorded daily has broken records in recent days.
The U.S. went from three million cases to four million in a span of just over two weeks, and more than 146,000 people are dead as of Sunday, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Globally, roughly 16 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and more than 645,000 deaths have been recorded.
While the number of new cases has declined dramatically in Canada since peaking in early May, some jurisdictions are seeing an uptick in cases as provinces gradually reopen.
Tam said that living with the virus means finding a balance between resuming activities while keeping rates headed in the right direction.
“In the absence of a vaccine, living with COVID-19 is not without risk. As our economy and society opens up, we will continue to see cases and clusters of COVID-19. That is why we need to proceed slowly and carefully as we live through the next phases of this pandemic,” she said.
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