Canada could see as many as 16,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of the year if current public safety measures don’t change, according to new modelling from the United States that has provided accurate assessments of the American death toll.
But a Canadian pandemic modelling expert says that, while anything is possible, the American model may not be capturing the whole picture in Canada.
The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington suggests Canada could see 16,214 deaths by Jan. 1 based on the current situation. If public safety mandates are loosened, such as physical distancing, the death toll could be even higher, hitting a projected 16,743 lives lost.
Universal masking in public spaces could curb those numbers and save thousands of lives, the model suggests, pointing to countries like Singapore that have successfully put in place masking protocols that are 95 per cent effective. Singapore has reported 27 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
If Canada were to successfully implement similar rules, the modelling predicts a death toll of 12,053.
So far Canada has reported 9,256 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 150,000 cases. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned earlier this week that the country is at the beginning of a second wave of infections as he urged Canadians to take public health guidance seriously.
Quebec is leading the country with new cases of COVID-19. On Saturday, the province reported another 698 cases, the highest daily infection numbers since May.
Dionne Aleman, an associate professor at the University of Toronto who specializes in mathematical models for pandemic prediction, said the IHME model is “simplistic” and does not account for regional differences across the country.
While a second wave of COVID-19 infections has started, Aleman points out that deaths are not in a second wave. COVID-19 deaths in Canada peaked in April and May, when more than 100 people died in connection with the virus daily. Those numbers have remained much lower in recent months, with five deaths reported on Friday.
“The fact that deaths are not tracking with infections as they did in the first wave indicates that vulnerable individuals are taking more precautions to protect themselves now, and it is reasonable to assume those precautions will continue as the second wave gets worse. This model does not account for the fact that some people are behaving differently from others, and thus, the projected deaths are likely overstated,” Aleman told CTVNews.ca on Saturday over email.
The latest modelling by the Public Health Agency of Canada does not offer predictions to the end of the year, but suggests that, based on current rates, the death toll could steadily rise to 9,300 lives lost by Oct. 2.
The IMHE modelling has proven to be accurate. Earlier this year, the model predicted that the U.S. would hit 200,000 deaths in September, a grim milestone that happened earlier this week. Now, the model predicts the U.S. death toll will nearly double by the end of the year, reaching 371,509 by Jan. 1.
The IMHE model also predicts daily infections — a number that includes people who aren’t tested for COVID-19 — could hit more than 19,000 by the end of the year.
Aleman said it’s important to remember that, even if a person doesn’t die from COVID-19, the consequences of getting sick can be serious.
“There are numerous examples of otherwise healthy individuals with severe reactions to COVID taking several weeks and even months to recover, and there are indications that there could be long-term health consequences,” she said.
“We should view these projections of exponential infection increase with great concern, and we as individuals should take every reasonable precaution to stem this increase before it is too far out of control. Wearing masks is easy and effective, and we should do it.”
Infections may be on the upswing, but Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said Saturday that limiting personal contacts as much as possible can help once again flatten the curve. She encouraged Canadians to take time this weekend to chat with loved ones about how to keep their bubbles safer.
“Even if people attending an event are part of your extended family, as has been the case with some of these private gathering outbreaks, it doesn’t mean they are not infected, even if no one appears to be unwell,” Tam said in a statement.
“Despite the very real concern of a large resurgence in areas where the virus is escalating, there is still reason to be optimistic that we can get things back to the slow burn.”
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Canada sees 2,341 new coronavirus cases as deaths near 10,000 – Global News
Canada added 2,341 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the country’s total case count to 203,476.
Health authorities in Canada’s provinces also said another 16 people have died after testing positive for COVID-19.
The new fatalities bring the country’s total death toll to 9,794.
News of the new infections comes as health officials work to slow the spread of the virus as Canada faces a second wave of the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the fight against the virus is “far from over.”
“And to win it, we have to keep working together,” he said. “Canada is a big country, the pandemic is playing out differently in different provinces and territories.
“That’s why I’m asking everyone to keep following the guidelines of their local public health authorities.”
In Ontario, 821 new cases were reported, and health officials said three more fatalities had occurred.
The new infections bring the province’s total case count to 65,896, and its death toll to 3,053.
However, 56,606 people have recovered from the virus, while 4,714,326 tests have been administered in Ontario.
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Meanwhile, in Quebec, 877 new cases of the respiratory illness were detected and health authorities confirmed 11 more people have died.
Since the pandemic began, 95,216 people have contracted the respiratory illness in the province.
Thus far, 80,468 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Quebec, while 2,839,254 people have been tested.
Forty-three new cases of the virus were reported in Saskatchewan on Tuesday, but the province’s death toll remained at 25.
A total of 233,017 tests for the novel coronavirus have been administered in Saskatchewan, while 1,987 people have recovered after falling ill.
Manitoba saw 109 new cases of the virus, but no new deaths.
Since the pandemic began, 1,703 people have recovered after contracting the illness, while 235,530 tests have been conducted.
Further west in Alberta, 323 new cases were reported, and health authorities said one more person had died, bringing the province’s death toll to 293.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Alberta has seen 22,996 COVID-19 infections, however, 19,500 people have recovered.
To date, 1,653,361 tests for the novel coronavirus have been administered.
British Columbia health officials said 166 new cases have been detected, and one more person has died.
The new infections bring the province’s total case load to 11,641.
One epidemiologically-linked case was also reported, meaning it has not yet been confirmed by a laboratory.
B.C. has seen 9,871 people recover from the respiratory illness and health officials have administered 736,637 tests.
No new infections or deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick, meaning the province’s total case count remained at 313.
So far, 215 people have recovered after becoming sick.
Provincial health authorities have administered 93,656 tests to date.
Nova Scotia did not report any new cases or deaths relating to the virus, either.
This means the province’s case count and death toll remained at 1,097 and 65, respectively.
A total of 106,748 tests for the virus have been conducted in Nova Scotia, while 1,027 have recovered after contracting COVID-19.
One new coronavirus case was detected in Prince Edward Island, bringing the province’s total case load to 64.
However, 61 of those cases are considered to be resolved.
The island, which has not yet seen a death associated with COVID-19, has conducted 42,377 tests.
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Newfoundland did not detect any new infections or deaths on Tuesday.
The province, which has seen 287 confirmed cases, has not reported a new case since Thursday.
So far, 272 people have recovered from the virus, while 49,117 have been tested.
New case in the territories
One new case was reported in the Northwest Territories on Tuesday, bringing the total case count in the region to six.
However, five of those cases are considered to be resolved. The territory has tested 5,939 people to date.
In the Yukon, 17 cases of the virus have been confirmed, 15 of which are considered to be resolved.
The territory has not yet seen a COVID-19 related death, and has tested 3,785 people.
Nunavut has not yet seen a confirmed case of the virus.
Global cases approach 41 million
The number of novel coronavirus cases remained under 41 million on Tuesday.
According to a tally from Johns Hopkins University, by 7:20 p.m. ET there were a total of 40,652,097 COVID-19 cases around the world.
Since the virus was first detected in China late last year, it has claimed 1,122,036 lives.
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The United States remained the country with the greatest amount of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, with more than 8.2 million infections.
So far, more than 220,000 people have died in the U.S. after testing positive for coronavirus.
India has reported the second-most cases at 7.5 million, and has seen over 115,000 fatalities.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada – BradfordToday
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):
Health officials in B.C. are reporting new outbreaks at three long-term care facilities and 167 more new cases of COVID-19.
A statement from provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says another person has died, for a total of 254 deaths.
There have been 11,854 cases diagnosed in the province, while 9,871 people who tested positive are considered recovered.
Henry says the efforts made by B.C. residents to contain COVID-19 are making a difference to help slow its spread.
Chief of the defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance has ordered Canadian troops to keep up their guard against COVID-19 while painting a gloomy picture of how the pandemic could affect the military and country.
The order is contained in a new directive from Vance and Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas in which they describe complacency around physical distancing, mask wearing and other public-health measures as the greatest threat to the military when it comes to COVID-19.
At the same time, they suggest the pandemic will get worse before it gets better, with expectations it could last 12 months or longer and result in more infections among military personnel along with continued shortages of medical equipment across the country.
Manitoba is reporting 109 new COVID-19 cases, with 88 of them in Winnipeg.
Health officials are also reporting outbreaks at one school and three long-term care homes in the city.
The greater Winnipeg region has been under stricter health orders, including mandatory mask use in public indoor areas, after numbers started climbing last month.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his children are not going trick-or-treating for Halloween this year.
He says this is because Ottawa, where he and his family live, is considered a COVID-19 hot spot and local public health officials have advised against children going door-to-door this year.
He says his children might take part in a hunt for candy around the house instead.
Trudeau says he understands how frustrating the pandemic is for parents and children but stressed it is important to listen to the guidance of local public health officials.
Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, has said that trick-or-treating can be done safely, but Canadians should follow the advice of local public health officials because the spread of the novel coronavirus is different across the country.
Canada’s chief public health officer says there have been 201,437 cases of COVID-19 in Canada reported as of Monday evening.
Dr. Theresa Tam says there have been 9,778 deaths from the illness.
She says Canadians needs to keep making a collective effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
She says this includes keeping a limited number of contacts, downloading the COVID-19 Alert app and making sure to spread accurate information about the illness on social media.
Small Business Minister Mary Ng says Ottawa is committing $12 million to a fund to help small business owners respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is to be made available through the Canada United Small Business Resilience Fund.
It will help small business owners buy personal protective equipment, renovate their spaces to respond to local public health measures and boost their ability to sell things online.
Ng also encouraged everyone to download the COVID-19 Alert app to help them learn if they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.
Ng says she took a COVID-19 test and received a negative result after being notified of an exposure through the app.
Quebec is reporting 877 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus.
Health officials are also reporting a jump in hospitalizations of 33, for a total of 565, with 100 people in intensive care, a rise of eight.
The province said today five people died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours while seven deaths occurred between Oct. 13 and 18.
Quebec has reported a total of 95,216 cases of COVID-19 and 6,055 deaths attributed to the virus since the start of the pandemic.
Authorities say one death previously attributed to COVID-19 was unrelated while 90 cases had been incorrectly labelled as positive.
Ontario is reporting 821 new cases of COVID-19 today, and three new deaths due to the virus.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says 327 cases are in Toronto, 136 in Peel Region, 79 in Ottawa, and 64 in York Region.
The province says it has a backlog of 24,129 tests, and has conducted 24,049 tests since the last daily report.
In total, 274 people are hospitalized in Ontario due to COVID-19.
Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19.
Dr. Heather Morrison, the chief public health officer, says the case involves a woman in her 20s who is a rotational worker and who travelled outside of the Atlantic bubble.
There are currently three active cases on the Island.
Since the pandemic began, P.E.I. has seen a total of 64 cases and all have been travel related.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 20, 2020.
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