Statement Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19

Statement Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19. 1,296,000 people have been tested for COVID-19

In lieu of a daily in-person update to the media, Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, issued the following statement today:

“As of Sunday, May 17, there are 76,204 COVID-19 cases, including 5,702 deaths. More than 38,159 or 50 per cent of cases are now recovered. Labs across Canada have tested over 1,296,000 people for COVID-19 to date, with about 6 per cent of these testing positive. We are now testing an average of 26,000 to 28,000 people daily. These numbers represent what we know at this moment, and change quickly. I encourage Canadians to consult for the latest information.

We are in the middle of the May long weekend. I know this year it feels a little bittersweet. The safety brake is still on when we would usually be revving up for summer: pulling out the bikes, maybe a canoe, dusting off the deck chairs and putting up the patio lanterns to launch a season of socializing out and about.

Statement Canada's Chief Public Health Officer on COVID-19

At the same time, we are all well aware of how much effort we have put in to plank the curve, and I know none of us is interested in giving up the progress we have made. That means we have to do this May long weekend a bit differently – and that is okay, because this is a uniquely Canadian holiday and we write our own history.

So this year, by keeping our public health practices UP to keep the curve DOWN, we will be celebrating this May long weekend plank-style.

Since not every area of Canada is at the same place in terms of COVID-19 activity, Canadians will need to follow local public health authorities for specific advice. But no matter where we are in the country, the most important way to get out safely is to maintain physical distancing, and keep up our now-exquisite hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Most importantly, if you have any symptoms, even if they are mild, stay home!

Otherwise, get outdoors and enjoy Canada’s wide open spaces, share a smile or wave across the street, light up those patio lanterns and have a virtual outdoor party – whatever way you decide to get your plank on this weekend – keep your bubble size small, your virtual size big and your helping hands clean!”

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